Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder admits a ringing endorsement from Eddie Howe about Lys Mousset convinced him to sign the forward from Bournemouth.
Mousset struggled for minutes at Dean Court with both Callum Wilson and Joshua King ahead of him in the pecking order.
How did Sheffield Utd end up signing Mousset? Five things to know…
- Bournemouth signed Mousset from Le Havre in 2016.
- In three years at Dean Court, Mousset mustered 71 appearances across all competitions.
- He struggled for significant game time as the likes of Wilson, King, Ryan Fraser and David Brooks kept him out of first-team action.
- As such Wilder brought him to Sheffield United after Howe talked up the Frenchman’s credentials.
- Mousset has scored three goals so far in the Premier League, including strikes against Arsenal and Everton.
Wilder sought to bulk up his Sheffield United squad in the summer ahead of a return to the top-flight, and he made Mousset the club’s most expensive player when he parted with £10m for his signature.
That record fee now looks an absolute bargain with the 23-year-old proving his worth in a Blades shirt, scoring in back-to-back games, including the match-winner against Arsenal and a point-saving volley in the 1-1 draw with West Ham on Saturday.
The acquisition of Mousset hence appears astute business from Wilder, but it was actually the Frenchman’s former manager, Howe, who encouraged the Blades boss to bring him to Bramall Lane.
“Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall at Bournemouth told me how good Lys is – he just didn’t get an opportunity because of their other strikers,” Wilder told reporters.
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“Sometimes there comes a time for a player when he’s been at a club and can’t see things changing that he has to move on.
“He was kept out of the team by Callum Wilson and Josh King, two of the best strikers in the division, so his opportunities there were very limited. It’s opened up for him a little bit but he didn’t have a great pre-season. If he was up to speed, he would have started.
“He needs more work on the training ground and in the gym. He has attributes none of our players have got. Some can run around the pitch all day, but are they as powerful and explosive as Mousset?”