9:11am Jul 9 2019

Can Sheffield United’s David McGoldrick replicate his form in the Premier League and be an FPL option?

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Finishing 2nd in the 2018/19 EFL Championship, Sheffield United gained automatic promotion with the joint-best defensive record in the division.

Only Middlesbrough could match their total of 41 goals conceded, while their tally of 21 clean sheets was also a league-best; comfortably ahead of Norwich – with 13, and Aston Villa – with 12.

Though their total of 78 goals scored was the lowest of the 3 promoted sides, it still saw the Blades’ rank 4th in the league overall, 4 goals shy of Aston Villa’s tally of 82.

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Defenders: Enda Stevens £5.0

Enda Stevens - FPL Defenders

Operating in a left-wing-back role, within a 3-4-1-2 formation, Stevens offered the most in the way of attacking returns amongst Sheffield United defenders last season.

His tally of 4 goals scored was on par with centre-back Chris Basham, while his 6 assists ranked joint-3rd amongst teammates, only behind midfielders Norwood (8) and Fleck (10).

Along with Mark Duffy, the central midfield trio were the only Sheffield United players to provide more than Stevens’ 39 chances created.

Meanwhile, fellow wing-back George Baldock (4.5) could only muster up 1 goal and 2 assists from the opposite flank, highlighting the reason for Stevens’ £5.0m price tag.

Alternatively, centre-back Jack O’Connell (4.5) provides a cheaper way into the Blades’ defence.

He featured 41 times last season, amassing 3 goals and 3 assists, while his tally of 10 shots from inside the six-yard box was only bettered by forwards McGoldrick (16) and Sharp (20).

Midfielder: Oliver Norwood £5.0m

Oliver Norwood - FPL Defenders

Attacking returns were shared fairly evenly across the midfield trio, with Norwood offering 11 goal involvements (3 goals, 8 assists) compared to the 12 managed each by Fleck (2 goals, 10 assists) and Duffy (6 goals, 6 assists).

But 28-year-old Norwood’s total of 97 chances created ranked 1st amongst Sheffield United teammates and 2nd in the division; only bettered by Leeds midfielder Pablo Hernandez (122).

With his role as the side’s primary free kick and corner taker, he fashioned a chance every 39.3 minutes, compared to 47.2 minutes for Duffy and 56 for Fleck.

Forward: David McGoldrick £5.5m

David McGoldrick - FPL Defenders

Operating in a front two, forwards David McGoldrick (5.5) and Billy Sharp (6.0) were responsible for the lion’s share of Sheffield United goals last season.

With 46 involvements (38 goals, 8 assists) between them, the pair directly contributed to 59% of the 78 goals scored by the club.

McGoldrick found the back of the net on 15 occasions, compared to Sharp’s more impressive tally of 23 goals, but the Irishman averaged a shot on target every 72.5 minutes, compared to one every 86.5 minutes by his strike partner and earned 5 more appearances.

With his versatility, able to play in an attacking midfield role as well as lead the line, McGoldrick may be a safer bet for game time.

At the ages of 31 and 33 respectively, McGoldrick and Sharp may have their minutes managed more carefully next season and Sheffield United are reported to be in the market for a new forward, with Brentford’s Neal Maupay strongly linked.

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Also worth reading

> NEW Out of Position Players on FPL
> Newly Promoted Sides – Sheff United
> Newly Promoted Sides – Aston Villa
FPL Differentials – Defenders
Team by Team Preview (Part 1)
Is KdB this seasons top best enabler?
FPL Differentials – Goalkeepers
FFPundits First Draft Team
> FPL Set Piece Takers – 2019/20
> Gameweek 1 Draft Team – Salah captain?
> Reaction to the FPL Launch
> Favourable starts for Liverpool & Man City
Favourable FPL Fixture Pairings

Thank you for reading ‘SHEFFIELD UNITED: PLAYERS TO WATCH for the 2019/20 FPL Season’ which was written and produced by @_FPLTips