Paul Heckingbottom makes prediction about in-demand Sheffield United player’s future | OneFootball

Paul Heckingbottom makes prediction about in-demand Sheffield United player’s future

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Football League World

Sheffield United boss Paul Heckingbottom has predicted someone will match the club’s valuation of Sander Berge if the Norweigian midfielder’s impressive goalscoring form continues.

Club Brugge are said to have had a £12.5 million offer rejected for Berge – with the Championship club holding out for around the £20 million they paid for him from Genk in January 2020.

But despite reports that Berge’s representatives are pushing for a move away, the 24-year-old has remained a mainstay in Heckingbottom’s starting XI this term.

He bagged his second goal in three games in Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Middlesbrough at the Riverside to continue a sterling start to the 2022/23 campaign but such form is only likely to bring more interest.

That’s the opinion of Heckingbottom, who told the Yorkshire Post after the game that he believes the club’s valuation will be met if Berge’s goalscoring form continues.

He explained: “We’ve had offers for some players in the window, which have been knocked back. That’s been the message from everyone at the club and I am grateful for that.

“If Sander continues scoring every game and does this, that and the other, then someone is probably going to pay the number that I don’t want them to pay. But then there would be nothing we can do about it.

“He has played Champions League and we have signed him for a lot of money and he wanted to come here and play in the Premier League, above others.

“Sheffield United signed a good player, but what you are probably seeing now is a different dimension to his game, one that he is really enjoying.

“If Sander is still here, which he better be from my point of view, he knows he will keep getting pushed by us and he enjoys his football here. Ultimately, we either get success out of him and he becomes bigger and better than us and gets success if he applies himself properly and that’s what he is doing.”

Berge’s highest single-season goal tally came last term when he scored six times and provided four assists – a record he is on course to break in 2022/23.

The midfielder has two years left on his contract at Bramall Lane.

The Verdict

It’s hard to disagree with Heckingbottom on this one.

The Blades have stood strong when it comes to Berge so far but if he continues to impress in the Championship you have to feel there will be increased interest in the last few weeks of the window.

It seems as though the club chiefs would be happy to sell him for around what they paid for him from Genk two years and a half ago, which would be a blow to United’s promotion hopes unless the money was reinvested in the squad properly.

James McAtee has already been drafted in to offer more depth in attacking midfield but with Morgan Gibbs-White back at Wolves after starring on loan last term, seeing Berge depart as well would be concerning.

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