Chris Basham appears to have cemented a place at the heart of Nigel Adkins’ plans for next season after impressing the Sheffield United manager with his attitude and endeavour behind the scenes.
Despite being signed as a midfielder by Adkins’ predecessor, Nigel Clough, Basham has performed a variety of different roles for United this term and impressed as a wing-back against Walsall last weekend.
Although Adkins has no qualms about the quality of many options at his disposal, the former Southampton and Scunthorpe chief recently outlined plans for an “injury audit” after expressing concerns about the chequered fitness records of many United players.
Basham, however, is expected to be spared an out-of-competition inquisition after Adkins revealed: “Bash is versatile; he’s a warrior and he’s robust.
“I’ve spoken about that a lot, needing people who can easily play 30 or 40 games a season, and Chris has shown that he’s one of those.
“He trains every single day and he’s versatile. It should tell you a lot that, every single time Bash has been available, we have played him.”
Basham is approaching the final 12 months of his contract at Bramall Lane.
Although Adkins has warned that all players, regardless of their employment status, are fighting for starting places, his words suggest Basham has already been earmarked for a key role when United return to action in August.
Refusing to rule out the possibility of deploying Basham in his preferred midfield role, Adkins said: “Bash has done well wherever he’s been played.
“He had a great partnership with Dean (Hammond) midway through the season when we didn’t lose many games at all.
Bash has got ‘legs’ and can get around the pitch well.”