Luton boss knows Blades forward Brereton Diaz is a player Town have to watch out for

Chilean striker has two goals in three Premier League games since signing
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Luton boss Rob Edwards has warned his side to ready themselves for the threat of new Sheffield United attacker Ben Brereton Diaz this afternoon.

The Chilean forward moved to Bramall Lane on loan during the January transfer window, to bolster a Blades side who had been struggling badly to score goals, signing until the end of the season from Spanish side Villarreal. The 24-year-old had been in wonderful form for Blackburn Rovers last campaign, scoring 22 times in the Championship to earn his move abroad in the summer, but it hasn’t worked out quite the way he wanted, unable to find the net in 20 Spanish La Liga and Europa League outings for his new side. However, back in England, he announced himself by scoring on his Premier League debut against West Ham, and quickly doubled his tally when the Blades lost 3-2 to Crystal Palace, making it two goals in three starts.

With the Blades the division’s lowest scorers, with just 19 goals from their 23 matches, six of those strikes have come in their last five fixtures, leading marksman Oli McBurnie with two of them, as it led Edwards to say: “He’s (Brereton Diaz) made a big impact since he’s arrived, with goals and assists and a threat, so he’s certainly a player we’ve got to be ready for. They’ve got good players, we’ll give them complete respect on that top line whichever way they go. McBurnie, Brereton Diaz, (James) McAtee finding those little pockets as well, very dangerous, a talented group of players.”

Ben Brereton Diaz celebrates scoring for Sheffield United against Crystal Palace - pic: Justin Setterfield/Getty ImagesBen Brereton Diaz celebrates scoring for Sheffield United against Crystal Palace - pic: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images
Ben Brereton Diaz celebrates scoring for Sheffield United against Crystal Palace - pic: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Like most of United's squad, Diaz has experienced the Kenilworth Road atmosphere before in his career, having come up through the leagues and was in the Rovers team who lost 2-0 in the second tier last season. While the confines of the stadium might have caught out some of the other top flight players this term, that won’t be the case for the majority of the visitors, or manager Chris Wilder as well, with Edwards continuing: “Yes, they certainly will be (used to Kenilworth Road), Chris will know, he knows us well, their players will do as well.

“A lot of them were there last year, they’ll know our players, so both teams have a good understanding of what is coming. That just means we have to be really good at what we do. At this level, every team has got good players, they have. I know they’ve had one or two difficult results, they had one the other day, but they've got good players who can hurt us if we drop off our level at all. So we’ve got to make sure that we’re completely focused and at our best and I know they’ll be trying to do exactly the same.”

The Hatters came out on top of the return fixture that took place on Boxing Day, with a thrilling 3-2 victory in south Yorkshire. Leading 1-0 at the break through Alfie Doughty, Town were then trailing 2-1 with 69 minutes gone, only to gain all three points courtesy of two goals by the hosts. Since then, Town have claimed five points from a possible 12, with United taking just one, thumped 5-0 on home soil by Aston Villa last weekend as they conceded a 59th goal of the campaign, to leave them now 10 points from safety.

Looking back to that clash, Edwards added: “I think we earned it, we did well, but it was a strange way to score a couple of goals. We’ve had quite a few thrilling games, I’d like to think we've been good to watch and like I said before we are in an entertainment business, although we all want to win and we all want to compete. We’ve been doing that well, so I hope it’s a good one to watch especially for our fans to watch, who have been amazing. We look forward to it, but we want to keep our performance levels high.”