Is Gus Hamer an improvement on Sander Berge?

Sheffield United have reached an agreement to sign Gustavo Hamer for a deal worth £15m, per Mike McGrath.

The Blades registered interest only a couple of days ago but negotiations moved quickly, and the midfielder is due a medical today with United, as they race to get him signed in time for tomorrow’s Premier League opener.

Last season, Hamer tallied nine goals and 10 assists in the Championship, and he got an assist in Coventry City’s first game this season against Leicester City.

LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 27: Gustavo Hamer of Coventry City celebrates with teammate Viktor Gyokeres after scoring his team’s first goal during the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final between Coventry City and Luton Town at Wembley Stadium on May 27, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Hamer vs Berge

His high work rate, impressive flair, and exceptional passing range endeared him to the Sky Blues fans, adding to his already remarkable track record from his Eredivisie days.

Hamer operates in central midfield as part of a double pivot, orchestrating play. Despite the Sky Blues’ frequent shifts between formations like 3-4-1-2 and 3-4-2-1, the Brazilian-born midfielder’s impact remains consistent.

Although Hamer is skilled at winning balls, his primary asset lies in his remarkable distribution. He has consistently showcased his exceptional passing skills.

[all stats via FBref]

Compared to other centre midfielders in the Championship, Hamer is one of the top performers when it comes to passing. He averages 0.31 assists per 90, which ranks him in the top 1% in the league. His creative output is quite ridiculous, registering nearly 2 key passes per game, and a high number of passes into the final third (5.97) and a high number of passes into the penalty area (1.38).

If you compare that to Sander Berge, the Norwegian only averages 0.15 assists per 90, which is still a decent number. Berge registers 1.14 key passes per game which is slightly above average. To add, Berge has a low number of passes into the final third (3.42), but he has a high number of passes into the penalty area (1.42).

There is always a purpose behind an action of Hamer, and that shows in his goal-and-shot-creating actions. Hamer ranks in the top 4% of midfielders at shot-creating actions (4.82 per 90). In addition, he is in the top percentile for goal-creating actions per90 – 0.68.

When you compare those stats to Berge, he was around the average mark of shot-creating actions for midfielders (2.34). Meanwhile, his goal-creating actions are low, registering at 0.18 per90.

Hamer is also known for his tenacity and aggression in midfield, often being described as a bulldog. His defensive statistics are excellent, which makes him the perfect box-to-box midfielder to sit alongside a destroyer-type midfielder in Vinícius Souza.

The 26-year-old registers 2.79 tackles won per 90 which is very good, and 1.70 of them are successful. Hamer does not discriminate in any area of the pitch, he will put tackles in in the defensive third, middle third and attacking third, which could make him a useful tool for United’s high press this season. He also excels in recovering the ball, with 8.32 per 90.

Compared to Berge, the Norwegian was one of the poorest midfielders defensively in the Championship.

Lastly, Hamer can progress the ball up the field by carrying it himself. He averages 2 progressive carries per 90, as well as 1.77 carries into the final third and 0.5 carries into the penalty area.

Berge excels when driving at the opposition. He averages 3 progressive carries per 90, putting him in the top 3 percentile in the Championship. He registered 2 carries into the final third and 1.11 carries into the penalty area, the best in the Championship.


Overall this is a huge upgrade on Sander Berge. Hamer’s style of play will complement Souza’s style of play. Sheffield United have much-needed stability and aggression in midfield, whilst at the same time adding incredible amounts of creativity to unlock a defence.

There isn’t anything bad to say about this transfer at all.






Tags Gustavo Hamer New Signing Sander Berge Sheffield United