Sander Berge: Sheffield United sign Norwegian midfielder for club record fee

Sander Berge
Sander Berge played both matches against Liverpool in the Champions League earlier this season

Sheffield United have signed Norwegian midfielder Sander Berge from Belgian side Genk for a club record fee.

Berge, 21, who has 20 international caps, has signed a four-and-a-half year deal for around £22m.

He played both matches against Liverpool in the Champions League earlier this season and made 98 appearances for Genk scoring six goals.

The Blades' previous record deal was the £20m spent on Scotland striker Oliver McBurnie in August 2019.

Berge joined Genk from Norwegian side Valerenga in 2015 and won the Belgian title last season.

Sheffield United said owner Prince Abdullah took a "personal interest" in the signing and was "instrumental in the negotiations".

Manager Chris Wilder said: "When we sat down with Sander it was clear that he was really excited about coming here and that was great to see.

"I think this signing just shows how far we have come in a short space of time, that we are now attracting the likes of Sander to the football club. It's a brilliant signing for us."

The club are eighth in the Premier League and host Crystal Palace on Saturday at 15:00 GMT.

Analysis

BBC sport's Alistair Magowan

This is another statement signing by Chris Wilder who has broken Sheffield United's club record transfer fee five times in the space of seven months.

Wilder has been keen on Berge since the summer when there were understandable doubts about whether United would stay in the top-flight. Now, the picture and finances look a lot different.

Berge is a holding midfielder, a role which Oliver Norwood has excelled in this season. John Lundstram and John Fleck have also been near faultless in midfield, so it's hard to see who the Norwegian international might replace immediately.

But Wilder is not a man for sentiment. He will want to keep that trio on their toes and if Berge begins to outperform them, he will see it as a natural progression for a team which is on the up and wants to cement its place in the Premier League for years to come.

Find all the latest football transfers on our dedicated page.

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