The signing of Sander Berge by Sheffield United in January proved to be one of the biggest talking points at Bramall Lane in some time.
Blades fans simply aren’t used to the club splashing the cash. So when Chris Wilder moved to make Berge the club-record signing at a whopping £22m, a few heads were turned.
While the summer had seen the likes of Oli McBurnie and Lys Mousset arrive for decent sums, many expected that to be the end of the spending.
But backed by new owner Prince Abdullah and helped in negotiations by Stephen Bettis, United captured the impressive Berge ahead of a host of others.
The Norwegian has started both his available games for the club. In those games, Berge has lined up to the right of a midfield three. It’s a position where John Lundstram was excelling and one that will take time for Berge to master.
However, could the signing of the 21-year-old pave the way for Chris Wilder to potential tinker with his groundbreaking system going into next season?
How the Blades could adapt with Sander Berge on board
It’s obvious to anyone who has watched United this season that the 3-5-2 formation suits.
It allows the likes of Chris Basham and Jack O’Connell to push on while giving wing-backs, George Baldock and Enda Stevens, the license to bomb forward in wide areas.
Key to that system is the positional play of Oli Norwood. The former Brighton man seems to know when to sit, when to switch play, and almost directs traffic.
But with Berge now in the squad, some have begun to question if the former Genk man could replace Norwood.
However, it might make more sense for the Blades to consider a change of shape.
It would be a crying shame to see Norwood moved out of the team. The thought, then, of Norwood lining up alongside Berge is something to think about.
Berge played a deeper-lying role while in Belgium. It’s a position he’s accustomed to playing and against more expansive teams, could give United that added midfield protection.
Of course, Chris Wilder will have a plan as always. But this is certainly something the club now has as an option following the signing of Sander Berge.