Anis Slimane: what can the Blades expect?

Sheffield United might have secured their first signing of the summer by the name of Anis Slimane. The 22-year-old Tunisian international currently plies his trade in the Danish first division with Brøndby IF.

A report from AfricaFoot has detailed that the deal between the player and the Blades has been agreed for a while. The initial fee of €2M (£1.7M) is settled, but the two clubs are still ironing out the final wrinkles in terms of add-ons.

United have managed to beat Lorient and Galatasaray for the Tunisian’s signature and the midfielder has already been introduced to his potential new training ground, Nathan Hemmingham revealed.

AL RAYYAN, QATAR – NOVEMBER 22: Anis Slimane of Tunisia looks on during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group D match between Denmark and Tunisia at Education City Stadium on November 22, 2022 in Al Rayyan, Qatar. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Last season Slimane featured 36 times in all competitions registering four goals and two assists, per Transfermarkt. He also started two games for Tunisia at the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

What are Anis Slimane’s strengths?

It is extremely difficult to come by in-depth statistics for Slimane. However, I have found some, thanks to TotalFootballAnalysis.

In the 21/22 he had one of the highest dribbles per game (4.73) in the Danish league – completing 55% of them.

But to say he is a flamboyant attacking midfielder, Slimane is just as active in his defensive work as he is in an attacking sense. The player registered around 10 defence duels per game winning 44% of those duels.

To add to his ball-carrying ability, the Tunisian also has the vision to advance attacks with his passing. The attacking midfielder had one of the highest numbers of smart passes (a pass that splits the lines) per game in the Danish league – recording two smart passes per game. Compared to the league average of 0.4.

In terms of chance creation, he made just shy of 0.6 key passes per game in the 21/22 campaign. But he only carried an above league average for expected assists.


What are the negatives?

What could be a slight worry is that Slimane only completed 90 minutes four times out of 36 matches in all competitions last season. And with the Premier League being more intense, it will be interesting to see how Slimane’s energy levels and all-round game holds up.

Another issue is that Sheffield United would likely lose Slimane for the months of January and February due to the Africa Cup of Nations tournament. That could leave United with two less players as Iliman Ndiaye would also participate in the tournament.

My opinion

The signing of Anis Slimane has a huge upside and even if United don’t see the best of the 22-year-old in the early months of his Blades career, it wouldn’t be a disaster. He is still young and has plenty of time to improve.

If all things go to plan, Paul Heckingbottom will have a versatile midfielder added to his squad; Slimane can play a holding role, a box-to-box role and more naturally an attacking role. However, I think this signing is the James McAtee replacement because of similarities in their style of play.

Lastly, approximately £1.7M + add-ons for a promising 22-year-old is almost unheard of. If he performs well this upcoming season his value will sky rocket.




Tags Anis Slimane Brøndby Sheffield United