Did Premier League teams wrongly overlook Sheffield United's Jack O'Connell during transfer window?

Joe Williams of Barnsley is tackled by Jack O'Connell of Sheffield United during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield United and Barnsley at Bramall Lane on August 19, 2017 in...

Sheffield United’s Jack O’Connell has been just as impressive as Bristol City’s Aden Flint and Nottingham Forest’s Joe Worrall.

Jack O'Connell of Sheffield United moves away with the ball during the pre season friendly match between Sheffield United and Stoke City at Bramall Lane on July 25, 2017 in Sheffield,...

Sheffield United defender Jack O’Connell is currently enjoying a terrific campaign at Bramall Lane, prompting the question as to why there was so little Premier League interest in him during the January transfer window.

The Premier League spending during January once again set new heights as the financial rewards of staying in the top-flight is a reward too great for those currently battling to stay up.

While numerous clubs were on the lookout for goal scorers, there were others who looked at the Championship as a reliable source in order to shore up the defence ahead of the business end of the campaign.

Bristol City's English defender Aden Flint (L) vies with Manchester City's English midfielder Raheem Sterling during the English League Cup semi-final first leg football match between...Bristol City's Adent Flint was linked with a Premier League move.

Bristol City’s Aden Flint was the subject of a £6 million bid from Brighton, according to Sky Sports, while the Mirror reported that Nottingham Forest received two separate bids from Burnley for Joe Worrall.

The two defenders have no doubt had impressive campaigns for their respective clubs this term, though another player who has been just as good if not better is Sheffield United’s Jack O’Connell.

  TeamTackles per gameDuels won per gameInterceptions per gameBall Recoveries per gameAppearancesMins Played
Jack O'Connell Sheff Utd 0.62 8.31 2.66 5.1 29 2,610
Aden Flint Bristol C 0.44 6.32 1.16 3.6 25 2,168
Joe Worrall Forest 0.7 5 1.63 5.48 27 2,407

As shown by the Opta Stats table above, the 23-year-old fared well compared to his Championship rivals, completing on average more defensive duels and interceptions per game.

The Blades defender also posted an impressive 5.1 ball recoveries per game, while his 0.62 tackles per game is more than Bristol City’s Aden Flint who many regard as a colossus figure at Ashton Gate.

O’Connell joined moved to the Yorkshire club from Brentford in 2016 and played 44 games as Sheffield United comfortably won the League One title.

He has gone on to feature 29 times so far in the Championship, making the step up with ease as Chris Wilder’s men challenge for a top six spot and a chance at completing a remarkable double promotion.

Sheffield United Manager Chris Wilder during the Sky Bet Championship match between Norwich City and Sheffield United at Carrow Road on January 20, 2018 in Norwich, England.Sheffield United Manager Chris Wilder

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