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3 Sander Berge alternatives Leeds United could source from the EFL if £25m valuation proves too much

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Sheffield United midfielder Sander Berge is said to be on the radar of Leeds United this summer. 

Leeds are facing up to the possibility of losing Kalvin Phillips this summer, as Manchester City circle the England international.

A report from Dean Jones at Give Me Sport has outlined that, in the event of Phillips moving on, Leeds may well turn to Berge at Sheffield United as his replacement.

However, it could take up to £25m to lure the 24-year-old out of Bramall Lane, with Sheffield United already proving to be stern negotiators when it comes to the midfielder’s valuation.

There’s every chance that Leeds will take a step back and judge that fee as too much.

In the event of that scenario playing out, we’ve identified THREE cheaper alternatives that are kicking around the EFL:

Lewis O’Brien 

Soccer Football – Championship Play-Off Final – Huddersfield Town v Nottingham Forest – Wembley Stadium, London, Britain – May 29, 2022 Nottingham Forest’s Ryan Yates in action with Huddersfield Town’s Lewis O’Brien Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

It’s been claimed by The Athletic that Leeds’ interest in O’Brien has cooled, despite the fact that the Huddersfield midfielder has been someone on the club’s radar for a year now.

Football League World understands that O’Brien has a release clause slightly north of the £10m mark, which makes him a much cheaper alternative to Berge.

Of course, the 23-year-old doesn’t have the international profile of someone like Berge, yet he probably fits into Leeds’ system under Jesse Marsch that little bit better as either a double pivot or slightly advanced inside playmaker.

Flynn Downes 

Soccer Football – Championship – Swansea City v Bristol City – Swansea.com Stadium, Swansea, Britain – February 13, 2022 Bristol City’s Andreas Weimann in action with Swansea City’s Flynn Downes Action Images/Andrew Boyers EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or “live” services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

Downes is another player that’s already been identified as a potential Phillips replacement in a report by The Times.

The Swansea City ace is a more defensive option than Berge or O’Brien, but if he’s coming in to replace Phillips, it’s no bad thing given how the England international has been the club’s defensive shield over the last four seasons.

Downes, 23, averaged over 1.3 tackles, 1.1 interceptions and 1.1 clearances per 90 last season in the Championship. If he were to move to Elland Road, he could prove to be that hybrid defensive midfielder and centre-back that Phillips was.

In terms of like-for-like, he’s perfect, and probably a lot cheaper that Berge.

Quiz: 23 things literally every Sheffield United fan should know – But do you?

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In what year were Sheffield United formed?

Gustavo Hamer 

Soccer Football – Championship – Coventry City v Peterborough United – Coventry Building Society Arena, Birmingham, Britain – September 24, 2021 Coventry City’s Gustavo Hamer celebrates scoring their first goal Action Images/Peter Cziborra EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or “live” services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

Hamer has been a star for Coventry City over the last couple of seasons in the Championship.

The midfielder has scored eight goals and registered 11 assists for the Sky Blues across 81 appearances in the second-tier and proved to be a bundle of creative energy in the centre of the park.

Leeds have been loosely linked with a move for the 24-year-old and you’ve got to imagine that he’d be a lot cheaper than Berge.


Alfie is a journalist based in Yorkshire with years of experience covering the EFL. A current focus on Huddersfield Town and their fortunes back in the Championship, but out and about at as many games as possible. Covered Leeds United during their promotion-winning season in 2019/20.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: 3 Sander Berge alternatives Leeds United could source from the EFL if £25m valuation proves too much

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