Lys Mousset has already scored as many goals in five months at Sheffield United as he did in three seasons with Bournemouth, but manager Chris Wilder says it is down to little more than getting his chance and taking it.
Mousset’s opening goal at Molineux on Sunday was his fifth in 13 appearances for the Blades. That was the number he scored in 71 matches with the Cherries.
And although Mousset was made to bide his time at Bramall Lane while he got fit enough to start games and learnt the Blades’ style of play, Wilder insists he has done nothing radical to bring that change about.
“We’ve not done much different if anything,” he said. “He’s just getting more opportunities here and sometimes, that’s just the way it goes for you at a club if there’s good players ahead of you. But there’s only so many times someone can say to you, ‘Be patient.’
“There’s nothing major, he’s just been given a chance here and he’s taking it. I believe he can get better as well.”
At Bournemouth, Josh King and England striker Callum Wilson were ahead of Mousset in the pecking order, and in January the Cherries paid around £17m for Dominic Solanke. Jermaine Defoe was another option for part of Mousset’s time at Dean Court.
At Bramall Lane, though, he has made himself indispensable, forcing club record signing Oli McBurnie into a bit-part role, along with captain Billy Sharp and summer signing Callum Robinson.
Mousset has formed an impressive partnership with David McGoldrick, the Frenchman usually playing on the shoulder of the last defender, while McGoldrick is given the freedom of something approaching a no 10 role.
Even as recently as late October, Wilder was sceptical about whether Mousset could do the job he needed from the start of games. He only made his full league debut at home to Arsenal on October 21. Mousset is yet to play a full 90 minutes for the Blades, but McGoldrick has only done that once this season.
Team-mate Oliver Norwood thinks Mousset is getting stronger with every week, however.
“He’s looking fitter and sharper and he’s done amazingly the last six games he’s played,” said the midfielder. “Long may that continue and hopefully he keeps scoring goals.”