Premier League vultures chasing Olivier Abrast after relegation

Premier League clubs including Aston Villa and West Ham United are eyeing Sheffield United’s highly-rated young midfielder Olivier Abrast.

Sheffield United were relegated from the Premier League at the weekend and may now face a battle to retain the coveted England Under-20 international this summer.

Scouts from England’s top flight have been keeping a close eye on Abrast’s progress and he was even named captain in Sheffield United’s 4-2 loss to Manchester United last week, albeit in just his seventh spell at the club. First Premier League start. He also captained the side against Newcastle at the weekend.

Abrast, 20, signed a new four-year contract with Sheffield United until June 2028 in February after impressing on loan at League One Port Vale in the first half of the season.

In the game against Arsenal in early March, coach Chris Wilder came on as a substitute in the 64th minute to give Abrast his Premier League debut, with Sheffield United trailing 0-6 at the time. The young man has been on the court ever since. Despite Sheffield United’s struggles, the holding midfielder has stood out for his ability on the ball, composure and work-rate and has already attracted the attention of a string of top Premier League clubs.

Sheffield United are determined to keep him at Bramall Lane next season and Wilder has earmarked him for a key role in the Championship.

Wilder claimed at Old Trafford last Wednesday that Abrast was “the best midfielder of his generation on the pitch”, and the same was true of the youngster in the 3-1 defeat to Liverpool and 2-2 loss at Anfield. The maturity shown in the draw with Chelsea was impressive.

“The way he performs at the highest level is very consistent – the way he presses Liverpool,” Wilder said.

“Against Chelsea’s £200m talent pool, he was the best player on the pitch. He was brilliant at Brentford and it’s a different challenge.

“He’s against Burnley, [against United]pound to pound [Christian] Eriksen and Manchester United also have a special kid [in Kobbie Mainoo]whether with or without the ball, he stays the course and makes very good decisions.

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