The performances of Sander Berge have been quite the talking point for a lot of Sheffield United fans over the last few weeks.
Expectations are high amongst the Blades faithful after the club splashed out over £20m on the Norwegian. Quite surprisingly, Berge has been thrust straight into the action by Chris Wilder, starting four games so far.
Those four games have yielded three wins and a draw, so, essentially, Berge can count his opening month at the club as a successful one.
However, there are some rumblings amongst Blades fans that he should be doing more. It is an expected ask, given the fee paid and the reputation the former Genk man arrived in England with.
But United boss, Chris Wilder, has said people need to give Berge time and called on people to remember how long other players have taken to settle previously.
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“There will always be an initial judgement on players, there always is. But for me, this is an obvious long-term signing”, Wilder said. (BBC Football Heaven)
“He’s had some tough games to cope with. He won’t be used to the intensity and he needs to get up to speed. But he’s got undoubted class and undoubted ability”.
Berge dropped into a deeper role in the midweek win over Reading in the FA Cup. After previously occupying the right-sided midfield role, the deeper central role is one that many see Berge occupying in the long-term for the club.
Sometimes it takes time
We have already covered how Sander Berge deserves time to adapt to his new surroundings. Indeed, those thoughts seemed to be echoed by Wilder, who made reference to Jack O’Connell’s start to life at Bramall Lane.
“I’m a football man and I know it doesn’t always work,” Wilder added.
“And I roll back the years to Jack O’Connell. After three games people thought he would have been a dud and let’s get rid of him. I think I deserve the faith of our supporters in terms of who we’ve signed”.
O’Connell has, of course, developed into an integral cog in the Sheffield United system. An England call-up might not be too far away for the former Brentford man either.
Blades fans, then, needn’t worry about Berge. He will be a big player and once he’s fully adapted, will go on to be one of the first names on the teamsheet.