When Slavisa Jokanovic took over at Sheffield United earlier this summer, it is highly unlikely that the 53-year-old manager would have thought his Blades side would be languishing down in the Championship relegation zone when the first international break of the season came along.
However, after losing three and drawing two of their opening five fixtures of the 2021/22 campaign, as well as scoring just one goal while conceding seven, that is exactly where the Serbian finds his United team.
As a result, rather predictably, a number of Sheffield United’s players have turned in a number of rather disappointing performances, none more so than Oliver Burke.
In truth, none of Slavisa Jokanovic’s six options up front have covered themselves in glory so far this season, having scored just one Championship goal between them, however, it is Burke who has perhaps been the most disappointing of a bad bunch.
Indeed, over his three league appearances this term, the £5.4m-rated centre-forward has scored no goals, registered no assists, made no key passes and created no big chances for his teammates, as well as hitting the target with an average of just 0.3 shots per game.
The 24-year-old has also made no tackles, no interceptions, lost 70% of his duels and has given away possession of the ball an average of 6.3 times per appearance.
These returns – or lack thereof – have seen the £19k-per-week forward earn a highly disappointing average SofaScore match rating of 6.53, ranking him as Jokanovic’s fourth-worst performer in the second tier of English football.
As such, should Sheffield United have any hope of mounting a push for a top-six finish this season, it is undeniable that Burke must start pulling his weight in the Blades attack, or else the club could well find themselves in a fight to remain a Championship side come next May – rather than challenging for promotion from the division.