This article forms part of our Profit Players feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how well a player has fared since being signed or sold, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how good of a deal the club managed to achieve.
Sheffield United have had great success in recent years. Just three years ago they sat in League One but under the management of Chris Wilder, they have secured two promotions in three years and are now sitting at the top table of English football.
Their rise has been remarkable, and one man who has been at the heart of it is midfielder John Fleck.
The Scot was one of Wilder’s first signings at the Bramall Lane, joining on a free transfer from Coventry City in 2016 (via BBC Sport).
Since joining he has been instrumental for the Blades. In his first season with the club, he played 49 games in all competitions, scoring four goals and providing a huge 20 assists (Transfermarkt) as they stormed to the League One title with 100 points (via Sky Sports).
He made the step up to Championship football with ease, and in the 2017/18 campaign contributed with two goals and eight assists in the second tier (Transfermarkt). One of those goals was a memorable too, as it was against local rivals Sheffield Wednesday in a 4-2 win at Hillsborough (BBC Sport).
In the Blades’ second year in the Championship, Fleck was once again at the heart of a promotion campaign. He played in 45 of their 46 league games, scoring twice and providing 10 assists which ultimately helped them to a second-placed finish (Transfermarkt).
Fleck now finds himself in the Premier League with Sheffield United, and once again he has managed to adapt to a new division comfortably. Recently praised by former boss Steven Pressley, taking a deeper look at his impact this season only goes to further prove what a masterstroke signing he was.
Whilst he is yet to score or provide an assist, he has featured in eight of the Blades’ ten league outings at the time of writing (Transfermarkt). Prior to this weekend’s fixtures, he was averaging the most key passes per game of anyone in the squad (1.9, via WhoScored) and 1.4 shots over the same period – the most out of any player outside of a striker. So, clearly, the Scotsman is making an impact at the top level.
Arguably his best game this season came in the South Yorkshire club’s most recent outing against one of the league’s big boys. Indeed, he was named as Man of the Match in their 1-0 win against Arsenal by BBC Sport.
He is also now a full Scotland international after winning his first cap in their recent Euro 2020 qualifier against Russia (Sheffield Star).
When you consider that Fleck joined the Blades on a free transfer, it looks like one of the best pieces of business in the club’s recent history. He has been a key cog in two promotion campaigns and one thing is for sure, he is certainly worth a lot more than nothing to Sheffield United.
Sheffield United fans, how well as John Fleck done for you? And how much would you want before considering selling him in today’s market? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…
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