Nobody quite epitomised Sheffield United as much as George Baldock last season as the Blades made a huge impression on the Premier League.
The former MK Dons man was instrumental in helping United to a top-half finish. Remarkably, he played every minute of every league game and has continued that trend this term, playing in and finishing all seven games thus far.
Baldock’s rise has been a great one. Most honest Blades would say they didn’t expect him to adapt to life in the top-flight as he did. In fact, there’ll be a small section who probably even backed Kieron Freeman to outdo him, such is the nature of footballing opinion.
But Baldock has been sensational. Goals, assists, aggression, energy. Everything a modern wing-back needs, the 27-year-old has delivered.
However, with United struggling for points and the team – by Wilder’s own admission – seemingly lacking confidence, could it be time to take Baldock out of the firing line temporarily?
Bogle waits in the wings
The summer window was spent, it seems, strengthening the depth of the squad. The first XI is barely any better if at all but, in fairness to Wilder, the bench and beyond does seem stronger.
One of those players brought in to offer that depth was Jayden Bogle. We have, so far, only seen the former Derby man in the cup tie with Burnley. Bogle has failed to make a Premier League squad as yet.
But Wilder has admitted Bogle is pushing hard. And with Baldock cutting a bit of a frustrated figure at the weekend and lacking confidence when he got into good crossing areas, Bogle might well get his chance to shine soon enough.
Obviously, we have just the one game to see out before another needless international break. That should give Baldock some time to recharge the batteries and reset.
On the flipside, it also gives Bogle time to work further on the training ground and make his point to Wilder.
This is not a criticism of Baldock by any means. He’s a great right-back and one of the better players, as well as someone who offers genuine pace for United.
But something has to change, and maybe just taking Baldock out for a short while could prove fruitful.