John Lundstram was expected to leave Sheffield United during the summer, according to the Daily Mail.
Lundstram scored twice at the weekend as the Blades beat Burnley 3-0 in the Premier League. It takes the midfielder’s tally for the season to three, having also got the winner against Crystal Palace.
Yet only a few months ago Lundstram was apparently likely to exit Bramall Lane. Which at the time would have come as no great surprise to anyone following the club.
After all, Lundstram made just ten Championship appearances in 2018/19, starting only five of those. The 25-year-old has started all 11 league matches already this campaign.
What has changed for John Lundstram?
The first thing is manager Chris Wilder has altered his system. When United won promotion last season it was with a 3-4-1-2 formation.
John Fleck and Oliver Norwood were preferred as the central midfield combination, with a number ten ahead of them. In the top flight Wilder realised his tactics needed to be a little more cautious, so a third player was selected in the middle.
Yet even then it was something of a surprise when Lundstram was named in the starting XI for the opening day game at Bournemouth. Well a surprise for those who hadn’t been keeping a close eye on pre-season preparations, where the Everton academy graduate had been used extensively.
“It hasn’t been easy, but it’s a journey I wouldn’t change. I’m at the top now and hopefully I can stay there,” Lundstram said.
“It’s a hard one because I always believed I could play at the top. But at the same time the position I was in last year it didn’t seem that I could.
“I went away over the summer and worked unbelievably hard to give myself the best chance I could.”
Lundstram is now just as important as anyone in a Blades team that currently sits sixth in the table after 11 matches.