Nigel Adkins last night admitted he is excited by the prospect of working with Florent Cuvelier after revealing the former Belgium under-21 international has made significant progress in his battle against injury.
Cuvelier, whose career at Bramall Lane has been beset by fitness issues, has yet to make a competitive appearance this term and Saturday’s win over Scunthorpe came almost a year to the day since his previous outing in a Sheffield United jersey.
Although Adkins refused to confirm whether Cuvelier would be declared available for selection over the Christmas period, he told The Star: “Flo has been brilliant. He’s certainly a player we’ve been talking about as a coaching staff because we’ve been really impressed with him in training. He’s getting closer and closer now.”
Cuvelier was widely regarded as one of the Football League’s most promising talents when, having impressed on loan at Walsall, he joined United in September 2013. However, 27 months and only eight starts later, he had become the forgotten man of Bramall Lane when Adkins took charge during the close season. Nevertheless, Cuvelier’s passing repertoire and polished technique could make him a tempting proposition for the 50-year-old who, in Jose Baxter’s absence, has lacked a creative dynamic in United’s midfield.
Adkins, who recently acknowledged members of his squad must be “robust enough” to play around “40 games a season”, said: “Flo is stronger and, because of that, hopefully a lot more confident in his own body now. You need to have that belief moving forward. He’s had a sustained period of training and so that should have helped in that regard. He’s been working really hard and, like I say, we’ve been really impressed with what we’ve seen.”
“Flo was in the squad,” Adkins added. “He was in the squad which travelled here (Scunthorpe).”