Sander Berge was given his debut for the Blades on Saturday just days after completing a club-record move to Bramall Lane.
The Norwegian midfielder arrived from Genk in a deal thought to be worth around £22m. After impressing for the Belgian side last term and helping them to the title, Chris Wilder became a big fan of the 21- year-old.
His performances in this season’s Champions League, too, further cemented his potential and quality.
Berge made a solid start for United at Crystal Palace. He was particularly lively in the opening 20 minutes and looked like he’d been with the club a lot longer.
And one of the stats to emerge from the game on Saturday will be music to Wilder’s and Sheffield United fans’ ears.
According to Squawka, Berge made more successful tackles than any other player on the pitch with five. Furthermore, he was also a rock-solid presence, with not a single Palace player completing a dribble past him.
Given the fact United boast the likes of John Egan and Jack O’Connell and Palace have experienced defenders such as Gary Cahill and James Tomkins, it’s quite the effort from Berge.
Of course, there is more to his game than just tackling. His passing was on point throughout the game (75% accuracy according to WhoScored). He also completed two interceptions and two blocks in his 68 minutes on the field.
More to come from Sander Berge
If Saturday was just a snippet of the sort of player United have got in Berge, then Blades fans have every right to be excited.
The Norwegian settled in immediately and showed the intelligence, class, and ability you’d expect of a £22m player.
Importantly as well, it looks like his arrival has boosted the performances of others. John Lundstram replaced Berge and played as well as he has done for a number of weeks.
On first glance, it looks very much like Chris Wilder has pulled off something of a masterstroke in signing Sander Berge.