The summer window for Sheffield United was a difficult one with the club selling Iliman Ndiaye and Sander Berge, just days before the Premier League campaign got underway. Those sales brought in some extra funds for Paul Heckingbottom to add depth to multiple positions.
In this piece, I will be giving my opinion on who has been the five best signings based on what we’ve seen so far, and I’ll be using FBref stats to back it up.
1 – Gustavo Hamer
This one is quite easy. Hamer was bought for £15m from Coventry City [The Athletic] and it did not take him long to make an impact on his new side as he netted a strike from distance on his debut, against Nottingham Forest.
The midfielder is the top scorer for the Blades with two goals, and to add, he is United’s most progressive player overall. He has the highest progressive passes in the team (24), he has registered the second-highest progressive carries (7) with only James McAtee and Yasser Larouci having better. In addition, Hamer has totalled 20 shot-creating actions, which is comfortably the highest.
It’s safe to say, United only ever looks a threat when the Dutchman is involved in an attack in some capacity.
2 – Vinícius Souza
The Brazilian has received plenty of criticism, which I find strange. Souza has already demonstrated the qualities he has, but the issue is he’s not getting the right personnel around him in midfield to combat his lack of speed.
Souza has made the most tackles and interceptions out of anyone in the team (33), and it’s not just screening the defence where he gets his work done. The midfielder is easily United’s best player at winning the ball back high up the pitch, registering seven tackles in the final third.
Plus, he has made the most ball recoveries with 42, while he also boasts the second-best aerial win percentage with 72%.
3 – Auston Trusty
Even though Trusty has only made four appearances (including one cup appearance), I have been extremely impressed with him. He looks comfortable: whether he’s in a foot race against a speedster or a tussling match with a big striker backing into him.
The American currently holds the best aerial win percentage in the squad with an 83% win rate.
Unfortunately, he has been forced to start due to the excessive number of injuries the Blades have accumulated. But, the plus side is, he looks more than ready to make the shirt his own.
4 – James McAtee
Similar to Archer, the fans were begging for McAtee’s arrival in the summer but he hasn’t delivered a decent performance yet. He has struggled to find a rhythm in games because the Blades aren’t having any prolonged period with the ball. However, he has shown glimpses of what he can do such as the Spurs game – McAtee should really have scored his first half chance with the technique he possesses.
The Manchester City youngster has recorded seven shot-creating actions and has the joint-most progressive carries with eight.
5 – Cameron Archer
I’m going to be honest, I’ve been disappointed with Archer so far. Other than the first half against Everton he hasn’t done anything of note. He’s been ineffective at closing the opposition down. He has struggled to hold up the ball or link up with Oli McBurnie. And when he does get a chance to run at the opposition, he has been dispossessed far too easily. The young Englishman has suffered the highest dispossessions in the United ranks with 17.