After being a regular at Bramall Lane for a number of years, Chris Basham is finding himself more of a bit-part player for Sheffield United under Slavisa Jokanovic.
The experienced defender was a key part of the Blades’ promotion to the Premier League and played in every single top flight match in the 2019-20 season when they finished in the top half.
That was under Chris Wilder’s management and certainly the best time of Basham’s career so far, but a new man in Slavisa Jokanovic has come in and the starts have been less frequent.
Quiz: What club do these 22 rarely-seen ex-Sheffield United players play at now?
Just seven league starts and four appearances of the bench in 18 matches have come for the 33-year-old and with his former manager Wilder rocking up at the Riverside Stadium now to manage Middlesbrough, the links to Basham heading to Teesside have inevitably come about.
Football League World sources believe that Wilder is keen to bring Basham to Boro and use him as one of his famed overlapping centre-backs, and a deal you’d imagine wouldn’t be that difficult to do considering his contract expires in the summer – although that will extend by a year if he plays a certain amount of games this season.
Is it going to happen though? Well Basham has started United’s last three league matches and with Jokanovic going to a back three that the veteran is used to playing in, maybe it’s a sign that he’s in his plans for the rest of the season.
In terms of other fit centre-backs at the Blades there is only Jack Robinson available so if Basham were to make a mid-season switch to Boro then replacements would need to be sought.
By the time Basham’s current contract expires though he will be 34 so he does need to think about the last few years of his career and who will provide him with the most security – the pull of working with Wilder again though could be too good to turn down.