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Sheffield United £35m valuation of star man explained – Arsenal, Napoli interested

Sheffield United had a surprising 2019/20 Premier League campaign. They rocked many of the big sides in finishing 9th.

Sheffield United spent big ahead of that campaign. They spent big money on players such as Lys Mousset and Oliver McBurnie who arrived from Bournemouth and Swansea respectively.

Mousset and McBurnie were consecutive examples of the Blades breaking their club-record transfer fee. That summer saw them break it a 5th time with the signing of Norwegian midfielder Sander Berge.

Berge: record arrival when signed by Blades

23-year-old Berge cost a reported £20million+ when he signed by the Blades in the summer of 2019. The 24-cap Norwegian international is highly thought of as one for the future.

Relegation to the Championship after last season’s troubled Premier League campaign has seen both Arsenal and Napoli credited with interest in Berge.

Both sides are said to be baulking at Sheffield United’s valuation of him which sits at an eye-watering £35million.

During his time with the South Yorkshire Blades, Berge has made just 29 Premier League appearances – scoring two goals and adding two assists.

Sander Berge - Sheffield United

Despite thoughts that Arsenal and Napoli are unwilling to meet Arsenal’s £35million valuation, Sheffield United are standing strong.

The Sheffield Star reported that the valuation the Blades are sticking to is “proving a difficult obstacle” but that the South Yorkshire club are unwilling to move on it.

In another Star article, reporter Danny Hall comments on Sheffield United’s reasoning behind their Berge valuation.

He writes that an intermediary acting for Sheffield United:

has argued the commitment they are demanding before granting Berge permission to explore a move to north London reflects how much he would have cost after leaving Genk had his contract there not been approaching its expiry date.”

Comment: will the Blades valuation cut it?

There is little doubt that Sander Berge is a quality player but is he a £35million quality player? After all, across two seasons for Sheffield United there are just 29 Premier League games to base that valuation on.

United seem to be looking at it from a hopeful ‘would be worth this much’ angle when looking at what he’d have been worth had they bought him from Genk and out of a lengthy contract.

The trouble is, they didn’t. He was on an expiring contract and at £20million Sheffield United took a chance. Berge only returned to the Sheffield United side late last season after surgery.

That’s hardly the fault of Arsenal or Napoli nor any other interested side. Sheffield United taking a stab in the dark about what it would have cost them had they had to buy his at full-contract value is a little unfair.

Maybe that’s how Arsenal and Napoli feel. It is time for Sheffield United to just cut their losses and sell for what they paid.

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