Derby County are reportedly weighing up making an offer for Sheffield United legend Billy Sharp following his departure from Bramall Lane, according to the Derby Telegraph.
League One outfit Derby is said to be considering an audacious bid for the highest scorer in Championship history and promotion-winning captain Billy Sharp.
Who is Billy Sharp?
Billy Sharp is a Sheffield-born centre-forward whose career began at his boyhood club Sheffield United before representing clubs such as Scunthorpe United, Doncaster Rovers, Southampton and Leeds United.
After a successful loan spell at then-League Two side Rushden and Diamonds, Sharp was sold by the Blades to Scunthorpe. His electric form of 53 goals in two League One campaigns convinced his former side to bring Sharp back to Sheffield.
The striker couldn’t recapture his Scunthorpe form in the red and white stripes and would eventually be sold again, this time to Doncaster Rovers. Sharp netted 45 Championship goals for Rovers, prompting promotion-chasing Southampton to take him south.
The Yorkshireman played his part in getting the Saints promoted, scoring nine times in 15 matches during the run-in. Sharp would go out on a series of loans to Nottingham Forest, Reading and back to Doncaster before joining Leeds on a permanent deal for the 2014-15 season. He would spend only a season at Elland Road before dropping into League One to join Sheffield United for a third time.
Over the following eight seasons, the former Bramall Lane ball boy would cement his place as a club legend, scoring 109 league goals and guiding the club from League One to the Premier League.
Sharp leaves United with a very impressive career record of 266 in just under 700 games and has scored over 100 goals in the Championship and League One.
What’s been said?
Derby County manager Paul Warne was recently quoted in the Derby Telegraph discussing his plans to bring in strikers. Warne said, “I think I’m getting really close to getting one, I would ideally have four strikers (in the squad), But they are the hardest to get.”
“Ideally I would have four, if I’m honest, I think it’s more likely that I’ll have three because I could have three better ones or four average ones. And I don’t want four average ones,” Warne continued.
Warne’s comments only confirm his desire to add more strikers to his squad following the capture of Connor Washington, they don’t specify the individuals he is chasing.
Billy Sharp has not addressed the rumour directly but has made comments in the past about Derby County.
Having scored a last-minute winner against the Rams two years ago, Sharp told SUTV, “I wish I could play against them every week.”
The striker continued, “I think their fans were disrespectful to me today. I don’t mind stick but if they’re going to give me that all game, they deserve that back. I’m delighted I scored against them because I don’t like them.”
If a club in League One can get hold of a player such as Billy Sharp then it would be seen as a no-brainer. He may have seen his goals dry up last season but he was not a regular in the side and a drop into League One with regular minutes would equal goals.
However, Sharp is rumoured to be attracting interest from several Championship clubs so I can’t see him choosing to drop down the levels particularly as his club Sheffield United has been promoted and he won’t have to play them.
If a move to the third tier is unlikely, a move to Derby County appears even less likely given the relationship between the fans and Sharp and the comments made previously. The former Scunthorpe man will want to join a club where he will get the maximum game time he can as he approaches the end of a goal-filled career.