Sheffield United: Slavisa Jokanovic keen to make most of Lys Mousset’s qualities more often

It is a damning statistic, and one manager Slavisa Jokanovic is determined to put right: now in his third season at the club, Lys Mousset has never played a full 90 minutes for Sheffield United.

Sheffield United's Lys Mousset celebrates after scoring the first goal with lliman Ndiaye and Oli McBurnie at Oakwell in their 3-2 win over Barnsley. Picture: Andrew Yates/Sportimage

The £10m French striker has only started 18 matches in all competitions for the Blades, one fewer than in three years at Bournemouth where he came off the bench 52 times.

But Mousset’s decisive two goals in Sunday’s 3-2 win at Barnsley shows why Jokanovic is keen to change that, rather than simply write off the 25-year-old. It will, though, require a lot of work from the player.

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“We need to prepare him to be ready to play 90 minutes three times weekly,” said Jokanovic. “We need a lot of effort and compromise on his side to.

Sheffield United manager Slavisa Jokanovic. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

“We believe he has the quality (we need). Sometimes we want to manage him but it’s better to prepare him to play the games.”

Sunday was a case in point, Mousset’s goals breaking the deadlock at Oakwell only for him to limp off shortly afterwards with a minor calf problem. He is not expected to miss tomorrow’s visit of Blackpool.

“I substituted him in the last game because he had a small problem so we wanted to take care of him but I don’t know if it will always be possible. I must take care of all the players but I must also do everything to win the games,” warned the Serbian.

“If Barnsley had scored two goals in the first 45 minutes before Lys Mousset scored two, I wouldn’t have substituted him.

“Sometimes you have to take a risk.”

Jokanovic wanted to make clear, however, he is not criticising Mousset’s attitude.

“Mouss is working hard,” he insisted. “It’s not been easy for him but he’s in a good mood. We are in a process, what’s happened has happened, we are just trying to see if we can avoid situations which have happened.

“It’s not easy for him, it’s not easy for us but it’s part of the job.”

The Blades have not suffered any fresh injury problems from the game at Barnsley, but do not expect to have Sander Berge fit until after this month’s international break.

The Norwegian midfielder has started five matches since last Christmas and injured his hamstring warming up at Hull City in September,

“We expect Sander can start working with us in the international break, he needs to work on his fitness and be ready for the competition,” said Jokanovic. “At the moment, he’s not in the squad we are working with to prepare for the games.”