Analysis: Gustavo Hamer has flown under the radar at Sheffield United

There was an incredible buzz when Sheffield United announced the signing of Gustavo Hamer for £15 million from Coventry City last summer.

The 26-year-old had instant pressure hanging over his head in a Blades shirt because of a number of reasons: his relatively large transfer fee, and, he was filling the creative void left by both Sander Berge and Iliman Ndiaye.

Every United supporter knew what they was getting with Gustavo Hamer after registering 12 goals and 20 assists in his last two full Championship campaigns at Coventry.

It took a while for Sheffield United to confirm the arrival of the Dutchman, but the talented midfielder didn’t take time to show his new fans his special ability. On his debut, Hamer scored an unbelievable goal from distance away at Nottingham Forest, picking out the top right corner.

Since his debut, he has continued to perform well in a red and white shirt, despite a minority of fans calling him poor. He has been far from poor.

To score three goals and claim five assists in his first Premier League season, for the bottom club, is actually very good. He also played a big part in the two goals Sheffield United scored against Everton earlier on in the season, and more recently the goal against Liverpool at Anfield.

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND – APRIL 07: Gustavo Hamer of Sheffield United reacts during the Premier League match between Sheffield United and Chelsea FC at Bramall Lane on April 07, 2024 in Sheffield, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images) (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Gustavo Hamer has been brilliant for Sheffield United

Firstly, when Hamer was announced I wrote an analysis piece to cover what fans can expect to see. And he has performed really as advertised. We knew what we was getting with him, a player that constantly tries to make things happen. And he’s a player with immense work-rate.

Before he kicked a ball for the Blades, Hamer didn’t have the best pass accuracy, and that’s continued with us, ranking in the 2nd percentile for pass completion percentage of midfielders in Europe’s top five league’s. Don’t mistranslate that though, that doesn’t mean he is a poor passer, he just tries risky passes often. And personally I wouldn’t ever change that about him.

Compared to midfielders in Europe’s top five league’s and UEFA competitions, United’s midfielder attempts almost seven long passes per game (78th percentile). He also attempts nearly four crosses per game which is also high (85th percentile).

Those two stats are what ultimately drag down his passing accuracy and makes him look like a poor passer on paper.

But when the end result is averaging almost two key passes per game (89th percentile), and averaging three shot-creating actions per game (77th percentile), I’m sure fans would not trade that part of his game.

Hamer’s stats compared to Sheffield United players

To compare the stats, although Hamer has one of the worst passing accuracy stats for the Blades (67%), he’s comfortably United’s best creator. For players heavily involved in games this season, his 1.80 key passes is only closely followed by James McAtee’s 1.2.

Additionally, his 3.6 crosses per game is seconded by Oliver Norwood’s 3.1, the next best of those heavily involved in games is McAtee with 1.6.

Lastly, Hamer is Sheffield United’s best player in terms of shot-creating actions having registered an average of 3.2 per game, while the next best is McAtee with 2.9.

Gustavo Hamer played a beautiful pass to set up Jayden Bogle against Chelsea

In this clip, Hamer’s strengths were all rolled into one in this moment. His quick thinking, aggressive mindset (in terms of attacking), and his eye for a pass was on full display when Gustavo Hamer set up Bogle for Sheffield United to equalise against Chelsea.

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