It’s been a pretty steady start to life at Sheffield United for new signing Sander Berge, to say the least.
Having been handed starts in all three Premier League games he’s been available for thus far, Berge has contributed to two wins and a draw for the Blades.
After arriving for £22m from Genk – a club-record signing – there was plenty of expectancy on the Norwegian from some Blades fans. It is, of course, an understandable opinion to take given his reputation and the money spent on him.
Berge’s performances have, so far, been ok without being spectacular. His misplaced pass against Bournemouth helped lead to the Cherries’ goal, while he was also caught out somewhat against Brighton this weekend.
That has led to some impatience from some supporters. Bramall Lane was awash with whispers of ‘needs to do more’ and ‘not quite up to speed’ after the draw with the Seagulls.
However, it’s surely too early for United fans to be writing off Berge. After all, he has only played three games in the Premier League.
The case for giving him time
As I’ve mentioned a number of times in other articles, the price of the player is irrelevant these days. A player is worth what the selling club believe they can demand for him.
In this case, Genk demanded north of £20m and United were willing to pay it. Chris Wilder, obviously, believes he is getting big value for money with the signing of Berge.
And while Blades fans do have every right to have their opinions, those writing Berge off already need to think of the bigger picture.
The 22-year-old is adapting to life in a new country. He’s also coming into a team that is so well-drilled. That is going to take time to adapt too, meaning that Berge is bound to make the odd mistake as he gets used to Premier League life.
Furthermore, it would be interesting to see how many of those slating Berge are the same people who were calling for John Lundstram to be ‘given a rest’.
Sander Berge will be a good signing for Sheffield United. He’s 22, has all the attributes to dominate the midfield, and, over time, will probably drop into a deeper role than the inside right-midfield role he is currently occupying.
In a nutshell, Blades fans need to give Berge time. Getting on his back now and putting more pressure on him is, simply, not needed.