Striker could leave Sheffield United this summer as fresh contract talks on hold

The worries of Sheffield United striker Oli McBurnie leaving on a free transfer this summer are increasing. The Blades previously could not come to an agreement with the player and his agent, and now further talks are on hold due to the proposed takeover, according to The Star.

McBurnie, 28, has had back-to-back good seasons in terms of goal contribution. In United’s promotion winning campaign, the Scottish forward netted 13 goals and added a couple of assists to his name. Last season, despite having multiple injury concerns, he bagged six goals and provided three assists, that was enough to be United’s joint top scorer in the Premier League and second on the list for assists.

Unfortunately, McBurnie only made 15 starts in the top flight as a result of his injury riddled campaign. These fitness scares are the main issue supporters have with United’s number nine.

It is clear he has a big impact on the team when he plays, but some fans believe the Blades can’t afford to make the Scotsman their highest paid player if he is to miss large portions of the season. While, others want McBurnie to sign no matter what due to what he brings to United when he does start.

However, this decision is out of United’s hands at the moment as they await approval from the EFL with their Fit and Proper test. The delayed takeover has only increased anxieties among the fan base.

McBurnie isn’t the only player who’s future at S2 is in doubt due to the takeover. Adam Davies, Ben Osborn and Daniel Jebbison’s future are uncertain. Meanwhile, John Egan’s future with the Blades will depend on how well he recovers from his achilles tendon injury that he suffered back at the Olympic Stadium in September.

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND – MARCH 30: Oli McBurnie of Sheffield United celebrates after scoring a goal that was later disallowed during the Premier League match between Sheffield United and Fulham FC at Bramall Lane on March 30, 2024 in Sheffield, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Will Oli McBurnie be a Sheffield United player next season?

Speaking back in November to The Star, McBurnie described a decision to extend his stay at Bramall Lane as a “no brainer”. “Definitely, You know how happy I am here and I’m settled back up north. Being around it, I get on well with the fans and the staff and all the boys. I love it here so yes, it’s a no-brainer”. We’re almost seven months on from that statement and everybody is still none the wiser.

In my opinion, the Blades must do everything in their power to keep Oli McBurnie at Sheffield United for next season at the very least. Despite a difficult campaign due to injuries, the number nine posted some impressive statistics which highlight his effectiveness.

Compared to other strikers across Europe’s big five leagues and European competitions, McBurnie won almost eight aerial duels per 90, that ranks him in the top 2% in Europe in that category, per FBref. He ranked in the 85th percentile for fouls drawn. And, he ranked in the 89th percentile in mis-controls.

These statistics back up most people’s eye test: McBurnie gives Sheffield United the ability to go long and make the ball stick, or draw a foul to alleviate pressure off the defence.

In addition to being a strong presence to aim for at the top end of the pitch, he puts in plenty of work on the defensive side of the ball. McBurnie ranks in the 99th percentile for clearances, 96th for blocks, and he demonstrates his willingness to win the ball by ranking in the 90th percentile for tackles and 79th for interceptions.

Tags Contract Oli McBurnie