Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom has been giving his press conference ahead of this weekend’s clash with Luton Town at Bramall Lane and has been speaking about a number of individual players. One of which being out of sorts French striker, Lys Mousset.
Mousset hasn’t featured under Heckingbottom as yet. This, despite being given chances by Slavisa Jokanovic and scoring three goals under the Serbian, including a brace at Barnsley. But under Heckingbottom’s leadership, Mousset has yet to be involved. The Blades boss has opted with the experienced pair of Sharp and McGoldrick, while Rhian Brewster and Iliman Ndiaye have also played at the top of the pitch.
Fitness and off-field issues have blighted Mousset’s time with United. However, Heckingbottom has spoken recently of the striker being on his own fitness plan, while the player himself has taken to posting videos on social media to demonstrate his work-ethic.
And speaking ahead of this weekend’s clash with Luton, Heckingbottom confirmed Mousset won’t be involved again as he fired a word of warning to the former Bournemouth man.
“He won’t be involved this weekend, no,” Heckingbottom said in his presser.
“I think that would be harsh on him (Lys not wanting to be involved). He wants to be but for whatever reason he hasn’t been able to keep fit. It’s a tough industry where you have to make sacrifices to get there and get to the levels you need. Talent alone isn’t enough. There’s a way to behave, to try and be professional, and we’re trying to help him do that.”
Mousset signed for the Blades in a £10m deal back in the summer of 2019. He enjoyed a fine first season under Chris Wilder, scoring a number of crucial goals in the Premier League. But since that first season, he’s dipped off a lot and has been linked with a move away on more than one occasion.
Our View: Lys Mousset A Lost Cause? We Hope Not
Look, there is no doubting Lys Mousset has ability. You only have to look at a few of the cameos this season to see how he can impact a game. Likewise his first year in the Premier League, there were weeks when he looked unstoppable.
The issue seems to be attitude and off-field related. As Heckingbottom alludes to in his presser, there is more to being a footballer than simply having some talent.
However, his fitness plan might be a last chance for Mousset. If he can get fit, get in the squad, and contribute, then it will be like having a new striker for Sheffield United. Even if he plays well trying to put himself in the shop window, then that’s a bonus for the Blades as well.
On the whole, Lys Mousset hasn’t been a disaster signing. But there is the frustration that he’s not quite kicked on after promising so much early on. Hopefully, the Blades can at least see a few more good performances from Mousset before he does eventually move on.