To say Sheffield United striker Lys Mousset endured a frustrating and disrupted 2020/21 season would be one of the understatements of the year.
Off the back of a superb debut season in which he hit six goals en-route to helping United finish 9th, Blades fans were excited to see ‘Moose’ again.
Chris Wilder paid around £10m for Mousset following promotion. Wilder knew at the time he was getting a raw talent. The goals had hardly flowed at Bournemouth but his pace, power, and age meant he was a risk worth taking.
And in fairness to the Frenchman, he’s paid that £10m back. His goals and assists were priceless. While some of his performances against the likes of Manchester United, West Ham, and Arsenal, proved he could do it at the top level.
But after a strange and freak injury ruled him out at the beginning of the season last term, it seemed to set in motion a series of events with Mousset.
Sadly for him, those events meant that 20/21 was pretty much a write-off.
What next for Lys Mousset at Sheffield United?
Chris Wilder often spoke of it being down to Lys. The then-Blades boss, seemingly, had given the striker ample opportunities to get his head right and, just as importantly, his fitness.
Ultimately, Mousset couldn’t do the business. His well-document crashing of his Lamborghini didn’t help matters. While on the field, he never got going at all, finishing the season playing some under-23s games.
Luckily for Moose, Slavisa Jokanovic is coming into Bramall Lane. New managers, as they so often do, will be willing to give people a clean slate.
And if one player in this United squad needs that, it’s Lys Mousset.
Talent not enough, hard work needs to go hand in hand
You’d be hard pushed to find a Sheffield United fan out there who doesn’t think Mousset has all the ability in the world. Certainly, from my perspective, he’s one of the most naturally gifted players we have.
But that talent won’t get the job done. The old saying of ‘hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard’ seems to be apt in Mousset’s case.
Most of us want him to do well. In fact, if he can get back to that form he showed in his blistering spell under Wilder, then United might have one of the best strikers in the Championship on their hands.
Jokanovic, you’d assume, will give him his chance this summer. It’s up to Mousset, then, to seize that chance.