He’s a player that for many years has performed under-the-radar alongside Gus Hamer in Coventry’s midfield. But having picked up the captaincy and creative mantle following the dutchman’s departure, tackle monster Benjamin Sheaf is now dominating Championship midfields as a matter of normality, and the stats are backing it up.
I won’t claim this to be some sort of magically definitive rating – it’s purely a fun measurement based on stuff players do – but Whoscored.com player ratings always seem to correlate closely with those who, on eye test alone, you’d think to rate as the best in the league.
As of January 2024, he holds the 9th highest rating of all eligible players in the Championship, averaging 7.21 per game, which for a midfielder that’s not renowned for his goals or assists (actions that these ratings are heavily weighted towards) it’s a testament to the quality of the other areas of his game and involvement that we’re seeing him in this list at all.
Key to his rating is the sheer relentlessness of his tackling. At the time of writing, Sheaf is leading the Championship’s tackles per game table. He’s now on 81 tackles in just 20 games (75% of last season’s total, which was monstrous in its own right). Trai Hume the only player who’s won more than Sheaf currently, but he’s played 6 more games.
He’s playing like a man possessed right now and you can think again about only labelling him one of the best midfielders in the Championship in 2024 – this is a fully sane list of the most brilliant players in the Championship this season and I fully endorse Sheaf’s appearance in it.