Chris Wilder faces Brighton's £16m striker who Sheffield United wanted to sign in the summer

Chris Wilder knows all about Brighton and Hove Albion striker Neal Maupay - he tried to bring him to Sheffield United last summer.
Chris WilderChris Wilder
Chris Wilder

The Blades boss had “discussions” with the then Brentford striker, as he looked to recruit attacking options ahead of their return to the Premier League.

Maupay eventually opted for a £16m move to Brighton - Saturday’s opponents for United - and Wilder brought in the likes of Lys Mousset, Callum Robinson and Oli McBurnie.

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Frenchman Maupay has netted seven goals in 17 appearances for the Seagulls since his switch.

"We had discussions with Neal in the summer,” Wilder confirmed. “There were quite a few clubs in the same pond. We wanted to improve at the top of the pitch and he was a player we knew a lot about with his exploits at Brentford.

"As I say, we looked at him and he was a possibility but players make their choices and he chose to sign for Brighton.

"It was a good signing for them and they're a powerful football club. I read a couple of weeks ago that the owner has put in £400m over the years there and I know a little bit about them too, from a period I had under Micky Adams as a player.

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"I should possibly have stayed a little bit longer there because it was the start of a decent period for them. They had a new training ground, the new owner came in and they got the new ground.

"It's an excellent football club with a really good manager and they had one before Graham Potter in Chris Hughton, too.

"I don't think anyone could have any criticism of the job Chris did there. They have a lot of good players and are looking to improve, as we all are."

Maupay’s fellow Frenchman, Mousset, has scored five goals in 16 Blades appearances.