Sheffield United looking to complete move to sign 23-year-old – What could he bring to the Blades?

Sheffield United are looking to secure the signature of free agent left-back Sam McCallum after he was released by Norwich City at the end of the season, per Alan Nixon. The 23-year-old made a total of 60 appearances for the Canaries where he scored one goal and provided two assists.

At one stage in his life a footballing career looked more like a fantasy than reality after he was released from the Gillingham academy at the age of 15. From there, he would play for his local non-league side Herne Bay FC in front of less than 300 people. But, his professional footballing career would get a lifeline where McCallum joined Jamie Vardy’s “V9” academy in 2018.

“V9 felt like a revival for me,” McCallum told Sky Sports. “We had a showcase game in front of loads of scouts, and my housemate came up and told me that Coventry were looking at me. I thought: ‘this isn’t real!'”

McCallum’s impressive performances in the V9 academy alerted several scouts but he would put pen to paper to join Coventry City in 2018. He made 84 appearances for Mark Robins’ team before earning a Premier League move to Norwich City.

Norwich City’s English defender #15 Sam McCallum controls the ball during the English FA Cup fourth round football match between Liverpool and Norwich City at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on January 28, 2024. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) 

McCallum’s statistics and what he could bring to Sheffield United

Sam McCallum can play as left-back as part of a back four or as a left-wingback in a five. He loves to get forward down the left flank. And while he shows good attacking work rate to get into some really promising positions, he has not registered many goals or assists throughout his time at Norwich. Last season he managed one goal in 27 league appearances and made no assists. But is it his end product that’s the issue?

As mentioned above, he loves to get forward and this is underlined by his registered touches in the opposition penalty area – he ranks in the 75th percentile in this metric when compared to the rest of the Championship full-backs. His assists see him rank in the bottom 10% in the league, but, his expected assists see him rank in the 76th percentile. This suggests forwards were getting on the end of his passes last season but were missing them.

While McCallum is fairly average at passing into the penalty area (49th percentile), he seemingly prefers to carry the ball into the penalty area ranking in the 83rd percentile.

Defensively McCallum is an interesting prospect. He has been blasted for his defensive work rate by Norwich fans in the past, nevertheless he does rank extremely high in several metrics. McCallum ranks in the 50th percentile for tackles, and while this is bang average, it could also point to him being positionally good so he doesn’t have to tackle as much.

Meanwhile, he ranks in the 99th percentile for interceptions and 97th for clearances, perhaps further highlighting his positional brilliance. Additionally he ranks in the 99th percentile for aerials won, which is something the Sheffield United defenders struggled with last season.

Tags Sam McCallum Transfers

1 Comment

  1. No thanks! no better than what we have had, rather give Buyabu from the U21s a chance.

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