Premier League

Unsung Hero: Chris Basham outstanding as Sheffield United beat Arsenal

Unsung Hero: Chris Basham outstanding as Sheffield United beat Arsenal

Chris Basham was one of several players who produced an outstanding display as Sheffield United beat Arsenal 1-0 on Monday. We have taken a closer look at his performance against the Gunners in the latest edition of our Unsung Hero feature.

Sheffield United have made a brilliant start to life in the Premier League, picking up 12 points from their opening nine matches (via BBC Sport).

Their latest positive result came against Arsenal, with the Blades running out 1-0 winners at Bramall Lane. Lys Mousset scored the winning goal, whilst John Fleck was named Man of the Match by BBC Sport.

However, one player whose performance appears to have gone under the radar a little is Chris Basham.

The centre-back was outstanding on the night, a statement which can certainly be backed up by the stats. Indeed, Basham won four aerial duels and four tackles, made four clearances and three interceptions, blocked one shot and completed one successful dribble, earning him a WhoScored rating of 7.76 – the highest of any player for the match.

More importantly though, he was part of a defensive unit which kept a clean sheet, stopping the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe and Alexandre Lacazette from scoring.

The 31-year-old has been with the Blades since 2014, and has been an ever-present as they have risen from League One to the Premier League. He has made a total of 249 appearances for the South Yorkshire club (Transfermarkt), including nine in the Premier League this term (Transfermarkt).

Along with Jack O’Connell, he is one of the overlapping centre-backs in Chris Wilder’s 3-5-2 system (The Times), which makes him crucial to the way that they play.

He contributes at the back, and has helped his side to the joint-best defensive record in the Premier League so far with just seven goals conceded, keeping four clean sheets (Transfermarkt).

But on top of that, he also offers plenty going forward, and has popped up with important goals in the past – most notably perhaps the winner against Leeds United last season (BBC Sport).

He may not be spoken about often by pundits and fans, but Basham has once again proven this season that he is a key cog in what is a well-drilled and successful Sheffield United side.

Sheffield United fans, how impressed were you with Chris Basham’s performance against Arsenal? Let us know in the comments below…

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