‘Not many will cope with him’ - Fisayo Dele-Bashiru lauded after coming-of-age Sheffield Wednesday performance
Sheffield Wednesday’s win over MK Dons on Saturday felt like a coming-of-age moment for young Fisayo Dele-Bashiru.
The 21-year-old midfielder has shown flashes of quality across the course of the season, putting in some solid performances, but against MK Dons – as the Owls won 3-2 – he was a powerhouse in the midfield after being called in to replace Massimo Luongo.
Luongo has been key for the Owls this season, and many worried about his absence, however Dele-Bashiru stepped up in a big way at Stadium MK – despite not being able to eat anything before the game due to his Ramadan fasting.
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FDB broke his fast once the sun set, by which point he was already catching the eye with a dominant display in the centre of the park that was causing all kinds of problems for The Dons.
And Darren Moore was a big fan of what he saw from the youngster…
"I was really impressed with him,” he told The Star. “I said to him I didn't want him to come in and make up the numbers. I wanted him to express himself.
"He has got wonderful ability. It was most exceptional the way he played the game. He was exceptional when he got hold of the ball and drove the team up the pitch. He put them on the back foot and gave them something to worry about.
"He is a different type of player to Mass. Mass will let the ball do the work. Fizz has got the ability to run with the ball and move up the pitch."
And the praise didn’t only come from his manager, with his midfield teammate and skipper, Barry Bannan, also heaping praise on his performance levels.
Bannan said, "He was brilliant. The boy has not played for ages and he is doing Ramadan but I thought the energy, strength and power that he brought to the midfield was great.
"He is still a young boy. Positional wise, he is still learning the game. I thought against a top team in MK Dons, who moved us around, he was brilliant.
"I made sure he got a round of applause in the changing room at the end and a special mention because he was brilliant."
Bannan also went on to tell the media, "Given the consequences of the game and a top team, I would say it was his best performance in a Wednesday shirt. He has been out injured and been doing Ramadan. He was faultless, energetic and imposed himself on the game.
"I said to him before the game, ‘You have got things in this league that nobody else has got and you need to use them.' I knew their two midfielders would not be able to cope with his physicality. He was too strong. Not many are able to cope with Fizz when he’s running and gets his arms out. He’s a top player. I have felt it in training. I told him to impose his strengths on this game and not let it go by him – and he did that.”
It remains to be seen whether Luongo will return against Crewe Alexandra on Tuesday, but even if he’s fit – Moore’s got a decision to make after FDB raised his hand for another start.