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.
When Sheffield United were promoted to the Championship in 2017, one of the first players they moved to sign was left-back Enda Stevens.
The Irishman had been plying his trade at Portsmouth in League Two, and moved to Bramall Lane on a free transfer after his contract at Fratton Park had expired (BBC Sport).
He was very much seen as a solid addition given he had just been named in the Team of the Season in League Two (Sky Sports), but few could have predicted just how well he would go on to do with the Blades.
Stevens immediately became a regular in Chris Wilder’s starting 11, and played in 45 of Sheffield United’s 46 Championship fixtures (Transfermarkt).
He slotted into the team with ease, taking the place of Daniel Lafferty as the first choice left wing-back and helping the team keep nine clean sheets whilst also chipping in with a goal and four assists (Transfermarkt).
The former Aston Villa man continued to impress in his second season with the Blades, and again was a regular fixture in the team.
Yet again he played 45 times in the Championship, helping the team to 20 clean sheets whilst also improving his goals and assists tally from the previous season with four and seven respectively (Transfermarkt).
He was a key cog as the Blades finished in second place and secured promotion to the Premier League, which is where he now finds himself.
So far Stevens has started all 12 top-flight outings for Sheffield United, and has been part of a defence which has already kept five clean sheets and conceded just eight goals (Transfermarkt).
He has already chipped in with a couple of assists too and has taken to the Premier League like a duck to water. Indeed, as per WhoScored, he’s averaging the most dribbles per game (2.3) – as well as the same number of tackles over that period (the second-most in the squad) – so is clearly making a considerable impact.
The 29-year-old has also now become the Republic of Ireland’s first-choice left-back, starting eight of their last 13 international matches (Transfermarkt).
It is fair to say that he has come a long way in a couple of years at Bramall Lane, and now that he is a Premier League and international player signing him on a free transfer looks like an absolutely brilliant piece of business.
Sheffield United fans, just how good has Enda Stevens been for the Blades since arriving from Portsmouth? Let us know in the comments below…
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