Sheffield United currently have a number of first-team players who need new contracts sorted, with John Fleck and John Lundstram among them.
The midfielders have both been integral to United this season. Fleck is the club’s joint-top scorer, with five, while Lundstram notched his fourth of the campaign against Bournemouth last weekend.
However, while a lot of the talk has been of Lundstram and a new deal (his current one expires in the summer, although there is an extension clause), the reality is that the Blades should be concentrating on Fleck more than anyone.
Manager, Chris Wilder, has already admitted that he wants a number of his key players tied down to new deals. Those players, then, will surely include Fleck, who has been attracting interest from Arsenal already.
Fleck’s deal runs out in the summer of 2021. That gives him around 16 months left on a deal that will surely be upgraded. Any deal he is offered will be massively deserved as well.
The key cog in all things good for United
There can be little argument about how important Fleck is to the Sheffield United cause. He’s become one of the main attacking outlets from midfield, picking up the mantle from the departed Mark Duffy. A change of system has contributed to that but Fleck has adapted with aplomb.
A number of fine displays have caught the eye, too. Against Manchester United, he was the best player on the field for around an hour of play. Against Burnley, he dominated possession and drove United into a three-goal lead. Finally, at Arsenal, he underlined his credentials with the equalising goal and a stirring second-half display.
It is, then, vital that the Blades tie Fleck down to new terms. After arriving on a free transfer, no player has had quite the impact that the Scot has on proceedings.
Chris Wilder often talks about the players who have been on the journey with him from League One. Fleck is one of those and should now be rewarded for his efforts of the past three to four seasons.
John Lundstram is an important player. However, John Fleck is just that bit more important.