Sheffield United: Striker Lys Mousset is told what he must do to realise his potential ahead of tomorrow's return to AFC Bournemouth
Lys Mousset has been told he can spearhead Sheffield United’s push for promotion this season providing he maintains his displicine off the pitch, after it emerged the centre-forward is in line for a return to action ahead of tomorrow’s visit to AFC Bournemouth.
Slavisa Jokanovic confirmed Mousset could make his first appearance since the opening weekend of the Championship campaign when United face Scott Parker’s side, having recovered from the injury he sustained against Birmingham City two months ago.
The Frenchman was United’s stand-out player during pre-season, scoring three times in two warm-up fixtures as they began life under Jokanovic. But a hamstring strain wrecked Mousset’s hopes of building upon that progress and, after a series of unrelated fitness issues and personal problems limited him to only 13 appearances last term, proving he is capable of realising the potential which prompted one team mate to describe him as a “Fifty million pound player in the making” soon after his move from this weekend’s opponents in the summer of 2019.
“Lys made a really good pre-season for us,” Jokanovic told The Star. “He put in a lot of effort, after some period where he did not find himself to be particularly happy.
“He has shown that he wants to improve. That is good. But without going so deep, he must help himself too. We are ready for him, we will give him what he needs. We also need participation from his side as well, though. That is what he must continue to do.”
Although Jokanovic’s appointment during the close season provided Mousset with a fresh start, the United manager’s decision to reference his responsibilities away from football stem from a series of controversial incidents under former manager Chris Wilder. Despite seeing the 25-year-old score five times in 10 Premier League appearances soon after completing his £10m transfer from Dorset, Wilder eventually grew frustrated by what he perceived as a lack of professionalism on Mousset’s part. Having returned to France before the 2019/20 schedule was completed, Mousset then crashed his sports car midway through last term, later pleading guilty to driving without due care and attention and failing to stop at Sheffield Magistrates Court two months after United had been relegated from the top-flight.
Admitting the striker “seems determined” to make up for lost time, Jokanovic said: “Working alone and in the physical room, he has been doing well and putting in what he needs to. He needs to keep collaborating with us in this way and, if he does, then he can be a really strong player.”
Bournemouth, where Mousset spent three years before joining United, are second in the table with their only defeat since August coming in the Carabao Cup.
“Lys can be ready for this game, he can be an option,” said Jokanovic, after also seeing David McGoldrick confirm his fitness during Tuesday’s game against Middlesbrough. “Okay, we know him from before too. He can not finish our first game against Birmingham. He is an option to be a part of the team for his next game. He has good movement and can be an important player for my team.”