Boss credits Rangers and Everton after Ibrox and Goodison Park cast-offs become Premier League stars

Chris Wilder, Manager of Sheffield United gives a thumbs up ahead of the Premier League match between Sheffield United and Arsenal FC at Bramall Lane on October 21, 2019 in Sheffield,...

Former Rangers and Everton players, John Fleck and John Lundstram, have recovered in style since leaving Ibrox and Goodison Park.

John Fleck (L) of Rangers tackles Beram Kayal of Celtic during the Clydesdale Bank Premier League match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium salutes his supporters  on April 24,...

John Lundstram of Everton in action during the Pre Season Friendly between Tranmere Rovers and Everton at Prenton Park on July 22, 2014 in Birkenhead, England.

Being dumped by Rangers and Everton as youngsters helped a pair Sheffield United midfielders become Premier League stars, according to their manager.

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John Fleck and John Lundstram were backed for bright futures at Rangers and Everton, respectively, but Fleck only played 55 times for the Gers, while Lundstram left Goodison Park without a first-team appearance to his name.

Both players had to rebuild their careers in England's lower leagues, where they were subsequently signed by Sheffield United en route to the top flight.

The Blades have caused arguably the biggest stir of all so far, and sit sixth in the standings ahead of their trip to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.

 

And speaking to BBC Radio Sheffield on Thursday, the United boss Chris Wilder explained why there are plenty more where the former Rangers and Everton players came from at Bramall Lane.

Asked about their swift adaptation to top-level football, Wilder said of Fleck and Lundstram: "Well, first and foremost, (they are) technically very, very good; had great upbringings as young players. (They have) had the disappointment of not making it at their clubs in the way, possibly, they would have liked to when they first started out their career as professional footballers. (They have) had the disappointment, (but) got the character to bounce back.

"So, not only from a technical point of view, (they have) a desire and a mentality and an attitude to reach where they would have wanted to be in the first place, and I think that goes an awful way in terms of the make-up of a player.

"We've certainly got two outstanding ones there. And there's others in the group, they've all had setbacks and it isn't always over when somebody gives you a bit of bad news early in your career. It's how you handle that and I think it's how you handle that right the way through your career. How do you handle the disappointments in your career, just as much as how do you accept the good times when they come?

"And certainly, those boys have really upped their game since the summer."

Chris Wilder, Manager of Sheffield United gives a thumbs up ahead of the Premier League match between Sheffield United and Arsenal FC at Bramall Lane on October 21, 2019 in Sheffield,...

Fleck is a lifelong Rangers fan, with his uncle Robert also risen through the ranks at Ibrox before his nephew was born.

Lundstram, though, has confessed to being a fan of Everton's city rivals Liverpool since severing his ties with the Toffees.

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