Passenger: Sheffield United man offers cause for concern with ineffectual display – opinion

It was a good day out for Sheffield United at Brighton on Saturday.

The Blades won 1-0 thanks to a solitary goal from Oli McBurnie, and they are now up to fifth in the Premier League table. After being tipped to go the same way from which they came from before the start of the campaign, Chris Wilder and his men continue to prove their doubters wrong.

Sheff UTD@3x - Passenger: Sheffield United man offers cause for concern with ineffectual display - opinion

Having said that, they weren’t at their best at the Amex Stadium. They managed less than 35% possession during the 90 minutes, and had just two shots on target. They have the Scotland international to thank for their win and, although they did have two goals disallowed by VAR, they were far from dominant.

This match saw just a third start of the campaign for former QPR man Luke Freeman. The 27-year-old was purchased before the start of the season for a then club-record fee of £5m. However, it is days like this that indicate he is struggling to adapt to the top tier.

In this match, he was a passenger. He managed just 12 passes during the match – only Dean Henderson had less of those to start the match – whilst he also failed to play a single key pass. He also failed to provide any defensive cover either, completing zero tackles and interceptions.

When he was taken off with just 53 minutes on the clock, few will have been surprised. It was the latest poor performance during a season in which he has made next to no impact. In nine Premier League matches, he has not managed a single goal or assist.

Chris Wilder has not made too many mistakes since moving to Bramall Lane, and at £5m, Freeman is not exactly a costly one, but his arrival has been an error all the same. Whilst most of those around him have excelled as the Blades have climbed up the table, the ex-Bristol City man just doesn’t look like he can cut it at this level.

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