Sheffield United’s new striker options: Assombalonga vs McBurnie

The transfer window has only just begun, but it is already evident that Sheffield United are in the market for a new striker.

With Billy Sharp and David McGoldrick as the Blades’ two main striking options, it’s clear to see why they feel that they need a new injection of firepower in their frontline.

Both of the Blades’ current attackers’ careers have blown hot and cold at different stages, so Chris Wilder seemingly wants a fresh option.

Gary Madine, Macauley Bonne and Lee Gregory have all been linked recently. The two most high profile strikers that have been rumoured to be on the move to Bramall Lane though are Britt Assombalonga and Oliver McBurnie.

These two Championship hitmen both have immense talent, but which one would Wilder be better off buying this summer?

Neither man has proven credentials in the Premier League, and while Assombalonga has been banging in goals in the Championship for half a decade, McBurnie is rather new to the scene.

Their performances over the last 12 months have shown that they are both ready to make the step up to the top flight, but if the Yorkshire club can only pick one, the stats show who the clear choice has to be.

Firstly, the most damning statistic is that the Scot outscored the Boro striker by eight goals in 2018/19. In fact, McBurnie’s tally of 22 eclipses Assombalonga’s most prolific campaign in the Championship when he hit 15 for Nottingham Forest.

Although it would be possible to put the Congolese striker’s tally down to his lack of starts, the 22-year-old’s minutes to goal ratio is also greater than his Middlesbrough counterpart.

You would think that playing in a Tony Pulis side would cause the 26-year-old to have fewer chances at goal. However, the two strikers both averaged exactly the same number of shots per game, showing that the Swansea forward’s goal tally was down to him being more accurate than Assombalonga this season.

Factor in his superiority in terms of aerial duels won and key passes made, and it is clear that the former Bradford man has a much more dynamic game than the DR Congo international.

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Even though they will have to battle Brighton for his signature, it is clear to see that United should have all of their attention focussed on McBurnie rather than the man who is four years his senior.