Chris Basham has given Sheffield United a boost ahead of the Steel City derby by signing a new contract.

Basham should return against Sheffield Wednesday on Friday night after serving a one match suspension. And it couldn’t be more timely.

“There’s nowhere else I’d want to go and play, this club is definitely on the up and I really want to be a part of it for the next two-and-a-half years,” he told the Sheffield Star.

“I’ve been here a long time, my family love the city and with them settled I’m able to focus on my game and playing consistently well, hopefully we can enjoy a double celebration on Friday night.”

The news that Basham will be at Bramall Lane until at least 2021 has been greeted in positive fashion.

Since joining the Blades on a free transfer from Blackpool in 2014 the 30-year-old has become a key player.

What does Bash bring?

Under Chris Wilder’s management Basham has developed particularly well and has thrived in a three-man defence.

Resolute and solid at the back, it is in attack that he really brings something unique to Wilder’s tactics. Basham will often surge up the pitch, occasionally even being the furthest forward.

These positions aren’t wasted either, as shown recently with his goal against Derby County and assist against Wigan Athletic.

(Photo by Luke Walker/Getty Images)

Martin Cranie is a solid enough defender but does not offer the same in the final third. Which is why Basham returning against Wednesday is so important.

While the Blades would go into the match as favourites with or without the former Bolton man, his influence cannot be underestimated.

Confidence will be far higher seeing Basham among the starting XI and that is testament to both himself and Wilder. Not bad for someone who arrived at United as a squad player back in their League One days.

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