Sheffield United: State of play with Lys Mousset as he is sidelined at Salernitana and faces career crossroads

After scoring just three goals in their last five games and taking only five points from a possible 15, Sheffield United are clearly missing their captain, top scorer and talisman Billy Sharp.

Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 3:27 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 3:27 pm

The boyhood Blade was added to his side’s long and remarkable injury list before the international break, when he limped off against Barnsley, and may return for this weekend’s clash with Cardiff City at Bramall Lane.

With every other senior striker still at Bramall Lane injured, United played without an out-and-out frontman at Bristol City on Monday and will likely retain that tactic if Sharp fails to prove his fitness in time to face Cardiff on Saturday.

Such is United’s dearth of attacking options that one supporter opined, after the Ashton Gate draw, whether Lys Mousset could be recalled from his loan spell at Serie A club Salernitana.

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He can’t – that could only happen during a transfer window for a senior loan – and either way, it wouldn’t come as a huge surprise to learn that the Frenchman is injured and is expected to miss his side’s rearranged clash with Udinese today.

The last of Mousset’s five games on loan in Serie A came on March 12, when he came off the bench as a 69th-minute substitute in Salernitana’s 2-2 draw with 10-man Sassuolo.

Salernitana are bottom of the Serie A standings, with four wins from 31 games, and it’s probably safe to say that Mousset’s loan move there hasn’t worked out as hoped for them, the player himself or indeed United, who hoped that he would rediscover the goalscoring touch that made him such a danger during his first-season purple patch in the Premier League.

Lys Mousset (C) of Salernitana is challenged by Hakan Calhanoglu (R) and Marcelo Brozovic of FC Internazionale (L) during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale and US Salernitana (Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

Mousset’s contract at Bramall Lane is set to expire this summer, although the Blades are thought to hold an option to extend that by another year – which would have likely been exercised had his loan move proved a success.

As it stands, however, Mousset’s career stands at something of a crossroads and a Bramall Lane career that once promised so much, with eye-catching finishes against the likes of Manchester United, West Ham and Wolves, is on course to simply just peter out.