This article forms part of our ‘In Focus’ series, where we will look at what we hope to see from the different players in the Sheffield United squad during the 20/21 season.
Signed in January to plenty of fanfare and pretty much out of the blue, the Blades spent over £20m on the big midfielder, paying Genk a hefty chunk of change of land the Norway international.
Berge is definitely one of the most interesting cases to look at going into this season. After a, shall we say, underwhelming start to his Blades career, there was definitely signs of improvement following the restart and it became apparent that we might just have a top player on our hands afterall.
Of course, we shouldn’t really doubt Chris Wilder. He isn’t going to spend over £20m of the club’s money on someone who doesn’t have huge potential.
Berge took time to adjust to his role on the right of a three in midfield and maybe, with good reason. In Genk, he’d played most of his football as an anchoring midfielder, much like Ollie Norwood does at The Lane. But with Norwood in such fine form, Berge was never going to get that spot.
Couple that with arriving in a new country on his own and then seeing the season curtailed just two months into his spell with United, and it’s pretty easy to see why he took a bit of time to settle.
2020/21 hopes and expectations
Few players have created such a buzz around Bramall Lane as Berge has. The massive fee, the fact we seemingly beat teams like Liverpool to his signature and then, the memorable day at Crystal Palace, meant Berge was almost instantly a cult-hero with the Blades fans.
This season promises to be a huge one for Berge. He looked a completely different player after the restart. He looked fitter, stronger, quicker, and crucially, more used to playing that role that John Lundstram had done so well for us in the early part of the season.
His goal against Spurs epitomised what we might get from him this season. Bursting runs into the box and cool under pressure. In fact, it would be a shock if we didn’t see Berge score more than five goals this season and lift the burden on the likes of ‘Lunny’ and Fleck getting forward.
Berge is many people’s tip across various social media platforms to be our player of the season. And it’s a fair shout, given that within our squad, he is probably one of – if not the – most talented player in there.
Everything points to it being a superb season for Sander Berge. In fact, you get the feeling that if he has a good season, then so will the club as a whole, such can be his influence on proceedings.