No Chris Wilder doubts about Oliver Arblaster as Sheffield United captain at Manchester United - and possibly next season

Oliver Arblaster could be Sheffield United's captain next season according to manager Chris Wilder, who had no doubts about asking the 20-year-old to lead his team out at Old Trafford.

With John Egan, Chris Basham, Jack Robinson and Oli McBurnie injured, Oliver Norwood on the bench and the job taken off Anel Ahmedhodzic in March, Arblaster was the Blades' seventh skipper this season.

This despite it being only his eighth league start for the club, having made his Premier League debut in March. He spent the first half of the season on loan at League One Port Vale.

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He rose to the occasion with an excellent performance defensively and on the ball in a 4-2 defeat at Manchester United.

CAPOTAIN FANTASTIC: Sheffield United midfielder Oliver ArblasterCAPOTAIN FANTASTIC: Sheffield United midfielder Oliver Arblaster
CAPOTAIN FANTASTIC: Sheffield United midfielder Oliver Arblaster

"I thought he was the best midfielder on the pitch for his age," affirmed Wilder.

"Did he keep growing into the game? Yeah. He made tackles and ran past a couple of our midfield players in the 90th minute.

"He's the type of player this football club has produced in the past, will continue to produce and one we're delighted to have."

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Wilder had no doubts the Sheffield-born midfielder could handle the responsibility.

"We've seen him in training, the way he acts and goes about his business and the way he's played previously," he said.

"I said it after Brentford we've got to catch him up and we did at times on Wednesday but it's another mixed bag in terms of my words to the players and to you regarding our performance."

It does not say so much for his 10 fellow starters that Wilder gave the armband to their youngest team-mate. Although he will try to sign more leaders in the summer, Wilder said: "I still think he might be captain and we build around him.

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"His performances have been incredibly consistent at the highest level – against Liverpool (at Anfield) the way they press; he was the best on the park against £200m of talent against Chelsea; he was good at Brentford and that was a different challenge, he was good on Saturday against Burnley and on Wednesday, pound for pound against (Christian) Eriksen and Man United have got a special kid in there as well (Kobbie Mainoo), he was going to the end and making really good decisions with and without the ball.”

McBurnie’s groin injury will be assessed, with speculation the last season of his contract is over.

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