The impressive stat that confirms Sheffield Wednesday star Barry Bannan as one of the top playmakers in the Championship

Until recently, Sheffield Wednesday’s failures in front of goal were a hot topic of conversation and were presented as the sticking point in a stop-start Championship campaign.

Friday, 13th December 2019, 5:56 pm

A chance conversation rate of only 13% saw them ahead of only relegation zone-dwelling Barnsley and Stoke.

But times have changed and thanks mainly to the red-hot form of five-in-three striker Steven Fletcher, Wednesday have hit the back of the net with more regularity in recent weeks, rising above the likes of Swansea, Derby and Reading in the chance-taking stakes.

One man who will have felt the frustration of their lack of cutting edge up top more than most is playmaker Barry Bannan, who despite those failings finds himself riding high in the Championship creativity charts.

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Only two players – Reading’s John Swift (54) and Barnsley’s Alex Mowatt (50) – have bettered the Scot’s tally of 46 chances created in the league this term.

Tellingly, that puts him level with West Brom’s Brazilian star Matheus Pereira, who has twice the number of assists; 10 to Bannan’s five. The Baggies are second only to Bristol City in terms of goal conversion, finishing 21% of their chances to Wednesday’s 14%.

Wednesday evening’s 1-1 draw at Derby saw the 30-year-old Scot register the latest of those five assists with the exquisite one-touch release of Steven Fletcher.

It was one of three chances he created on the night – more than anyone other than returning winger Adam Reach (also three).

Sheffield Wednesday's Barry Bannan is among the Championship's highest-performing creative players this season.

Bannan had admitted his frustration at the side’s long-held inability to put games to bed but speaking after the momentum-shifting 3-1 win at Charlton earlier this month, he said: “The boys were brilliant.

“The performances in the last few weeks have been good but we've not got the results. We showed the maturity in the team. We are learning from the mistakes in the previous weeks."

Some way behind Bannan in the Wednesday chance-creating stats is Kadeem Harris (31), followed by Reach (23) and Fletcher (16).

Another stat that places the diminutive Owls talisman among the league’s best is the number of crosses he has put in, recording 118 to date, the eighth-most in the division. QPR’s Ryan Manning leads the way on 168.