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Paddy Kenny delivers verdict on which Sheffield United player should replace George Baldock ahead of Stoke City clash



Sheffield United legend Paddy Kenny believes Chris Basham will be the man to replace the injured George Baldock for the Blades’ tie against Stoke City this weekend, speaking in an interview with Football Insider.

28-year-old Baldock was withdrawn in the 49th minute for Basham in the South Yorkshire side’s last match against AFC Bournemouth after sustaining a hamstring injury, an issue that the former has not recovered from over the international break according to manager Slavisa Jokanovic, who revealed this latest update in his pre-match press conference.

The Serbian has a few players who could come in to replace the right-back, including natural centre-back Basham who has found game time hard to come by with the addition of Ben Davies and Jokanovic’s switch to a back four, even though the departures of Kean Bryan and Phil Jagielka early in the summer initially looked to boost his first-team chances.

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Another player who has failed to win as many senior minutes as he would like is Jayden Bogle, with the 21-year-old not even making the bench in their last three games and playing less than 90 Championship minutes of football in total so far this season.

He is reportedly on standby to play against Michael O’Neill’s men this weekend with Baldock failing to recover over the interval, although he may face competition from Basham and even Rhys Norrington-Davies, who may be able to do a job out on the right despite predominantly operating on the left side.

Ex-Sheffield United goalkeeper Paddy Kenny has had his say on this top, saying to Football Insider: “He’s (Baldock) a key player, isn’t he?

“He’s been in that team now for quite a while. Hopefully, he won’t be out and he’ll be available for selection at the weekend.

“If not, do you go back to the experience again? Obviously the most natural one would be to stick Bogle in there.

“But he hasn’t been playing when there have been players out. I think Basham would play, for me. It’ll be interesting to see what the manager thinks.”

The Verdict:

If Jayden Bogle doesn’t start or at least feature in some capacity at the weekend, he should be considering handing in a loan or transfer request, because he will rarely have a better chance of staking his claim for a starting spot with Baldock out.

Although he has a great chance of being promoted with the Blades this term if they can regain their consistency, first-team football has to be the 21-year-old’s top priority at this stage of his career, because he risks not being able to fulfil his potential after such a promising spell at Derby County.

He’s more than capable of doing a job this weekend, especially in getting forward, so there’s no real reason why he shouldn’t start. He isn’t the sharpest after making just two appearances in the league this season, but he will only be able to increase his sharpness with more game time.

You could argue Chris Basham is the better defensive option, but that could pin the Blades back in their own half which could be a dangerous policy as they come up against the likes of Mario Vrancic and Nick Powell.

One player who is the most unlikely to start out of all potential candidates is Rhys Norrington-Davies. He missed out completely in the last match at the Vitality Stadium – and should also be considering a move away if he fails to get back into the starting lineup at the expense of Enda Stevens.

A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Paddy Kenny delivers verdict on which Sheffield United player should replace George Baldock ahead of Stoke City clash

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