After Flint’s £7m move, Sheffield United should command 8-figure fee for Jack O'Connell

Jack O'Connell of Sheffield United and Jack Robinson of Queens Park Rangers battle for possession during the Sky Bet Championship match between Queens Park Rangers and Sheffield United at...

Sheffield United’s Jack O’Connell has been linked with Brighton and Hove Albion.

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,...

According to a report in the Argus, Brighton and Hove Albion are preparing a £6 million bid for Sheffield United’s Jack O’Connell – £1 million less than what Bristol City received from Middlesbrough for Aden Flint (Daily Mail).

Flint had an excellent campaign for the Robins last term, helping them challenge for the playoffs and reach the League Cup semi-finals where they were ultimately beaten by champions Manchester City.

Boro have done well to sign one of the best central defenders outside the Premier League, but at 29 the 6ft 5inch man may only have a few more years at the top of his game unlike United’s O’Connell.

In contrast, the Blades ace is 24 and has the best part of a decade of top-level football ahead of him, while last season he proved to be just as efficient as Flint if not more in certain key defensive areas.

O’Connell played all 46 Championship games for the Blades last term, averaging more tackles, interceptions and defensive duels won per league encounter than Boro’s new £7 million signing as shown by Opta Stats.

  Tackles per gameInterceptions per gameEffective Clearances per gameDuels won per gameAppearances
Jack O'Connell 0.72 2.26 4.37 8.28 46
Aden Flint 0.44 1.05 6.1 6.85 39

As a result, United should be commanding a larger figure for their outstanding defender and with four years left on his existing Bramall Lane deal, he is arguably worth an eight-figure fee of at least £10 million.

Any less and Brighton are picking themselves up a bargain, while United will be allowing one of their better players to leave with few options to replace him for the same kind of money.

Atdhe Nuhiu of Sheffield Wednesday and Jack O'Connell of Brentford challenge for the ball during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield Wednesday and Brentford at Hillsborough...

The report in the Argus claims the Seagulls are also keen on Reading’s Liam Moore, but it appears their first option is O’Connell and perhaps their reported first bid is to just test the waters.

United have strengthened their defence this summer with the arrival of John Egan from Brentford for a reported club-record fee, seemingly using some of the cash they received from selling David Brooks to Bournemouth.

Marc Richards of Northampton Town looks to the ball with Jack O'Connel of Sheffield United during the Sky Bet League One match between Sheffield United and Northampton Town at Bramall Lane...

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