Auston Trusty: what can the Blades expect?

Sheffield United look set to complete the signing of Arsenal defender Auston Trusty for a fee in the region of £5m. The USA international has completed his medical with the Blades.

The 24-year-old impressed everybody during his loan spell for Birmingham City last campaign. In his first season in England, he started 44 Championship games for the Blues, overseeing 13 clean sheets [SofaScore]. He added four goals to his name and his performances even saw him earn the club’s Player of The Year award.

His strengths and comparisons 

Auston Trusty has similar tendencies to Anel Ahmedhodzic. Much like the Bosnian, Trusty is an aggressive defender that loves to defend on the front foot. If he sees a player dropping in between the lines he will read this and contest the receiver via a tackle, or he will try to intercept the ball. Trusty has registered a high number of successful tackles and interceptions in the past year at 3.82 per game, while Ahmedhodzic performs excellently in this metric with 4.22 successful tackles and interceptions per game.

If the American is successful in his attempt to steal the ball away from the deep-lying forward, he will advance the ball via dribbling into midfield or with a simple pass. Trusty registered 0.89 progressive carries in the past 12 months and he has 0.61 carries into the final third, underlining his attacking intent from centre-back.

What is interesting is the FBref stats shows Jack Robinson has a slightly higher progressive carry number, but has much fewer carries into the final third.

Trusty is statistically better than Robinson and Ahmedhodzic at blocking and clearing the danger in and around the box. The American has 1.88 blocks and 4.27 clearances. Meanwhile, Robinson has 1.27 blocks and 3.67 clearances. Ahmedhodzic has a low number of blocks and clearances, 0.91 and 3.18.

Also, Trusty outperforms Ahmedhodzic in the air by some distance with 3 aerials won per game compared to the Bosnian’s 2.11. But Robinson is exceptional in the air, registering 4.43 duels won.

Out of the three, Trusty has the lower pass completion percentage. However, to put it into context, it would be much easier to keep the ball for Sheffield United last season than it would be for Birmingham City. It’s also worth noting that Trusty played more long balls than Ahmedhodzic, perhaps by coaching instruction. Robinson performed far more long balls than them, however.


I’ve mentioned his aggressive style of defending, which is all well and good when you win the ball. In the Premier League, if you’re even a fraction mistimed, you will be punished for the lapse of judgement. In other words, they’ll likely be moments where the aggressive defending will work in Sheffield United’s favour to spearhead counterattacks. And they will be moments where they’ll be caught out.

It appears that United want this type of dynamic wide defender though, to try and match the movement of the attackers in the Premier League.

Trusty’s defensive stats read well, and he has demonstrated for Birmingham City that he is reliable. For around £5m this is great business.









Tags Analysis Arsenal Auston Trusty Birmingham City Sheffield United