Dean Ashton talks up Gary Madine

In an exclusive interview with Football League World, EFL on Quest pundit and once-capped former England striker Dean Ashton has given his verdict on Sheffield United frontman Gary Madine.

What he said

Madine joined the high-flying Blades on loan from Premier League outfit Cardiff City in the recent January transfer window, as reported by the BBC.

Chris Wilder’s side are currently in the thick of the Championship title hunt, along with Leeds United and Norwich City. The arrival of the powerful 28-year-old forward could give everyone at Bramall Lane an all-important boost ahead of the final few months of the campaign.

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Madine opened his account for Sheffield United with a well-taken brace against Reading last time out. With those strikes under his belt, he should now be feeling a lot more comfortable and confident in the Steel City. 

Ashton certainly believes he has plenty more to give, saying “he gives them way more physicality for when they clear the ball as he can hold it up and win the headers…He’s the sort of player that Chris Wilder likes to work with too where they’re not having a great time, he feels if he can bring him in, build their confidence and utilise him for what he’s got then that’s why he’s been signed.”

A masterstroke?

Ashton is right to note that Madine is arriving at Bramall Lane off the back of a difficult period in south Wales. The striker barely featured for the Bluebirds in the first half of the season, which must have knocked his confidence. 

However, he has the qualities to be an asset for United, as well as a very welcome rotation option to the likes of Billy Sharp and David McGoldrick, who have both been in fine form this season but are now 33 and 31, respectively, and could be about to show signs of fatigue.

If Madine can give Wilder’s side the boost they need to secure automatic promotion to the Premier League, then his capture will have to be considered a masterstroke on the manager’s part.