Opinion: Anel Ahmedhodzic has improved since losing captaincy

Last season in the Championship Sheffield United defender Anel Ahmedhodzic looked a level above in the vast majority of games.

It was a great debut campaign for the 25-year-old Ahmedhodzic. A remarkable six goals, two assists, 16 clean sheets in 34 Championship starts helped the Blades to automatic promotion. Showcasing his defensive skills and attacking output, fans wondered if the Bosnian international could replicate such performances in the Premier League.

Unfortunately, Sheffield United, and Ahmedhdozic, have struggled for much of this season. The Blades have struggled to keep the ball out of the back of the net having kept just one clean sheet and conceding 82 goals in the process.

Over the last few weeks, the Blades have seen much-improved performances but are still leaking goals.

Having said that, Anel Ahmedhodzic looks to be finally playing to a standard that most of us expected from him in the Premier League. And interestingly, this uptick in his performances have been ever since the captain’s armband was taken off him and given to Jack Robinson.

Anel Ahmedhodzic improving over the last few weeks for Sheffield United

Going back to the Fulham game, the Bosnian international had a solid game from a stats point of view, and from the eye test. But he was still part of a defence that leaked three goals and dropped two points that afternoon.

Ahmedhodzic made 14 successful defensive actions while winning 78% of his total duels. He was also useful offensively making four accurate long passes, two passes into the final third including a key pass.

The next game saw the Blades fight to the death in one of the trickiest Premier League fixtures on the calendar, a trip to Anfield.

United could’ve took the lead inside a minute when Ahmedhodzic flicked the ball on to James McAtee from a long throw, but McAtee lacked conviction in his attempt. Despite conceding three goals, one of which was entirely on the goalkeeper, United’s defence performed admirably.

Ahmedhodzic registered eight successful defensive actions against the league leaders at the time, including an exceptional last ditch tackle.

The 25-year-old followed that strong showing up with another one against Chelsea last Sunday. Ahmedhodzic once more proved his on-the-ball qualities registering a couple of passes into the final third as well as a 100% dribble success rate, and one progressive carry.

Additionally, the Blades’ centre-back had 12 successful defensive actions, the second most on the pitch, and the most from a United player by far. He also totaled seven duels won.

Ahmedhodzic made a great recovery tackle for the second game running

Anel Ahmedhodzic made another last ditch tackle last Sunday, highlighting his excellent sweeper ability.

For much of the season Ahmedhodzic has not looked anything special. However he has clearly improved his performances since losing the captain’s armband in my opinion.

With his contract set to expire in the summer of 2026, I fully expect Sheffield United to keep the Bosnian for a Championship promotion push next term. Although, we would be stupid to turn down a bid that exceeds his valuation.

My thinking is, I’d rather us keep the likes of Ahmedhodzic, Egan and Baldock for at least one more season to help us come back up from the Championship as they have proven they’re excellent in the second tier.

Tags Anel Ahmedhodzic Opinion