There was plenty of excitement around Bramall Lane when Luke Freeman arrived in the summer.
The QPR midfielder was one of the first captures for Chris Wilder following promotion to the Premier League. Seen by many as an upgrade of sorts to Mark Duffy, plenty of Blades fans were delighted when he arrived in a deal worth around £5m.
However, since that move, Freeman has struggled to nail down a regular place in Wilder’s XI and squad. Of course, he isn’t to blame for some of that. A change in shape means United no longer play with a number ten type player. Furthermore, John Lundstram, John Fleck, and Oli Norwood all started the season in fine form.
Add to that that the likes of Mo Besic and Ben Osborn also arrived for midfield competition and it suddenly becomes clear why Freeman has found it tough.
Indeed, when he did get a short run of games when Fleck was injured at the start of the season, it was short-lived. Fleck returned and, as we all know, hasn’t looked back since that moment.
There was plenty of reported interest in Freeman during January. The likes of Nottingham Forest and Leeds were both credited with casting admiring glances the way of the 27-year-old Blades man.
However, as Chris Wilder kept insisting on, Freeman stayed put and is now firmly part of the Blades squad.
The problem for Freeman now though, is that he isn’t even getting a look-in. He’s played just 53 Premier League minutes in the last ten games and hasn’t made the bench in six of the last seven (transfermarkt). In fact, but for a half-decent showing at Millwall in the cup, Freeman has almost become a forgotten man.
Berge arrival means no way back
As if it wasn’t already tough for Freeman to break into the squad, United added Sander Berge in January. The Norwegian has immediately been thrust into the first XI.
That’s dropped John Lundstram to the bench and seen Mo Besic left out completely. In the case of Luke Freeman, it pushes him even further down the pecking order.
It’s a great shame for the midfielder but it looks like he might well be a one-season man for the Blades. Few could have predicted how well the club was going to do. It goes without saying, then, that United will be active in the market come the summer.
Sadly for the former QPR man, it looks like he might be left behind as Chris Wilder continues to grow the club.