If things were different, Chris Basham could be lining up for Newcastle on Saturday rather than Sheffield United.

The Blades arrive at St James’ Park in fine form, looking to cap off their return to the Premier League with European qualification.

Chris Wilder has assembled a sensational squad with limited top flight experience, with each player buying into his philosophy and taking Sheffield United to seventh in the table.

(Photo by Rich Linley – CameraSport via Getty Images)

They’re fun to watch whilst also being solid at the back, and one player who hasn’t missed a game all season is Basham.

Saturday’s game will certainly mean more to the 31-year-old, as he had hoped to call St James’ Park his home in the past.

Basham is a north east lad, born in Hebburn in 1988. And it was Newcastle who gave him his first break, joining the Magpies’ youth setup.

However, at the age of 16 he was released.

 

15 years later, Basham is Premier League player. And come next season, he could be a Champions League player.

Is he one that got away for Newcastle? Possibly.

(Photo by Visionhaus)

But Basham has only just reached the top. He’s played in the Premier League in the past, making sporadic appearances for Bolton and Blackpool.

Nowadays he’s a mainstay in this Sheffield United side, and he has been ever since he joined in 2014.

Since arriving in 2016, Wilder has took Basham and plenty other players to a whole new level. We’ll see that firsthand on Saturday.

But if Basham ends up deciding the game, many fans will be sat thinking ‘what if we hadn’t released him’.

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