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Central midfield player John Lundstram of Oxford United may well be the next target for Championship new boys Sheffield United, whose excellent recruitment this time last year effectively sealed their promotion from League One.
The popular left footer, 23 years of age, has been very influential for Oxford, since signing from Everton back in 2015, having been capped by England’s under-20 side.
Lundstram has a year left on his contract at Oxford and would command some sort of compensation anyway, though he has been in talks regarding a new long term deal to keep him at the Kassam Stadium. Despite this, he has attracted the attention of higher ranked clubs in recent times, with the Blades seemingly the first to make their interest known formally.
Oxford are known to want up to £500,000 for their star player and captain, though this may be within Sheffield United’s compass and with negotiations ongoing, the Yorkshire side expect to get their man.
Lundstram played 45 of Oxford United’s 46 games in League One last term having gained promotion from the fourth tier there in his first campaign with the club. The young dynamic midfielder had previously played at this level while on loan from Everton at Doncaster, Leyton Orient and Scunthorpe United.
He has also already tasted Championship football, short term deals at Yeovil Town and Blackpool ensured that he played 31 times at that level and clearly sees his future there at the very least.
He has played for England at under-17, 18, 19 and 20 levels and although he didn’t manage to burst through into Everton’s Premier League side, he clearly has a fairly bright future in the game. Hardly prolific in providing goals from deep, Lundstram is more about breaking up opposition’s play as well as getting his own team moving. He has proven very good at that.
Though some proven players with Premier League or vast Championship experience may be needed at Bramall Lane if they are to reach the top end of the table this time next year, it’s good to see that they recognise the fact that young talent needs to be nurtured too and in Lundstram they’d have a player who is far from finished in his development.
Whatever he did last season was a bonus really, with the player creeping towards hitting a peak as a player which might take him to a much higher level than League One.