Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder is convinced Caolan Lavery boasts the qualities required to become a big hit at Bramall Lane.
Wilder, who insisted the fact Lavery arrived from Sheffield Wednesday “isn’t an issue at all”, made his prediction after confirming the former Northern Ireland under-21 international is set to make his competitive debut against Peterborough tomorrow.
Describing how Carl Bradshaw and Derek Geary were bestowed with cult-hero status by United supporters after also crossing the Steel City divide, Wilder told The Star: “I got a message sent through to me from a supporter recently saying ‘a team that gives 100 per cent is all we ask for.’ That’s all I ask for too.
“When Lavs signed, there have been enough players who have crossed over. The biggest compliment I can give is Brads. He crossed over and I loved him to bits because of the way he played.
“Then there was Del Geary, who is back here working now, and he did the same thing too. Whether you come from a big club, a small club or from across the city, that’s what you’ve got to do. Give everything.”
Lavery, aged 23, made no secret of his desire to join United after leaving Hillsborough during the close season and Wilder, whose side has won its last three league games, added: “Caolan showed that desire. The move is never an easy one across the city. I don’t want to pile too much pressure on him because he is a young player but we are really excited to have him here. He’s young, he’s aggressive, he’s brave and defenders are frightened of pace. He certainly makes us better.”
Lavery joined United before last month’s transfer deadline but was asked to complete a mini pre-season programme before being considered for selection.
“We aren’t just going to pick players who run around and give 100 per cent,” Wilder said. “They have to tick a few more boxes than that. Lavs does and I don’t think it’s an issue at all, where he’s come from. He won’t be at 100 per cent sharpness, he can’t be when it’s his first match, but we wanted him to be as close to it as possible.”
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