Going into the 2021-22 season, there was much excitement as to what Slavisa Jokanovic could do as manager of Sheffield United – especially with the plethora of attacking talent he has at his disposal.
The Serb has been promoted from the Championship twice before with both Watford and Fulham and he arrived at Bramall Lane to manage a squad that folded tamely in the Premier League relegation battle last season, but who on paper looked tailor-made for a return back to the top flight.
Included in that squad are five strikers who at Championship level should all be prolific scorers, with Billy Sharp and David McGoldrick both on the ageing side but Oli McBurnie, Lys Mousset and Rhian Brewster all have their best years ahead of them.
In the case of Brewster, his debut season at the Blades was one of disappointment after the club broke their transfer record to purchase him from Liverpool for £23 million.
The youngster failed to find the back of the net in 27 Premier League outings, but a drop into the Championship, where he scored 11 times in 22 appearances for Swansea two seasons ago, could prove to be the making of him.
Are these 22 Sheffield United stats real or fake?
It hasn’t started great so far for the 21-year-old, who has appeared in the league six times and not scored as of yet – although only three of them have been starts – but what are Brewster’s match stats saying about his performances?
His most successful game by far came in the League Cup against League Two opposition in Carlisle United, where he finally broke his scoring duck for the Blades.
In that match, Brewster had six shots (per WhoScored) and was fouled three times as he proved to be a menace to the Cumbrians’ defence.
Brewster’s league performances though have been a slight let-down. His first start of the season in the league came against his former club Swansea and in 78 minutes he registered just one shot and completed just one of his four attempted dribbles (per Wyscout).
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He had similar struggles against Huddersfield, restricted to just one off-target shot, two completed dribbles and lost both of his aerial duels, with that performance resulting in a demotion to the bench for the next two matches.
No shots in his 25 minutes on the pitch against Luton was followed up by a decent cameo against Preston, where he registered a shot on target, completed both of his attempted dribbles and had a 100 per cent pass accuracy, and that cameo led to his start against Hull City last weekend.
The match against the Tigers was his most successful yet, with two of his four shots being on target and completing all three attempted dribbles, as well as completing two interceptions on the defensive end (Wyscout).
It hasn’t been a great start to the season for Brewster, but he needs an extended run of games in the side to settle and prove his worth to Jokanovic – if his performance against Hull is anything to go by then he looks a bit more comfortable now and the goals will surely soon start to flow.