Derby County extended their unbeaten run to four games thanks to Duane Holmes’ fine late strike at Middlesbrough on Saturday.
Whilst their recent form will please boss Phillip Cocu, the reality is that the Rams remain stuck in the bottom half and they are eight points away from the play-off places.
Therefore, the current campaign has been underwhelming – even if they have time to turn things around.
However, it’s clear to see that new players will be needed and one man who has been linked with a switch to Pride Park is Billy Sharp.
And, as our graphic show, he would be a great addition for Derby as he has proven himself in this level, starring as he captained boyhood club Sheffield United to promotion.
Firstly, you can see that Sharp is a goalscorer and that’s exactly what Derby need. His 23 goals from 40 games is extremely impressive and outlines exactly what the striker is all about. He is clever with his movement and prolific in front of goal.
The fact he had over 19xG for the season is another positive as well. Even though he slightly overperformed over the campaign, it shows that he regularly got chances and that he was always in the right position.
Essentially, it means last season wasn’t a fluke where he just got lucky and was in a purple patch. Instead, he was rewarded for that movement and his quality in front of goal – exactly what the Rams require.
Only Wigan have scored fewer goals than Cocu’s side this season and that’s nowhere near good enough for a side that will have had ambitions of reaching the play-offs back in August.
Of course, signing one player isn’t going to change Derby’s fortunes completely and that poor return in front of goal suggests creativity is an issue as well – but there’s no doubt Sharp would help massively.
He has scored goals regularly in the second-tier over the years, from back in his Doncaster days to Southampton and then with the Blades.
There are concerns about signing Sharp, with his age an obvious one and his all-round game could be improved.
What club did each of these 16 Derby County players sign from?
However, Derby don’t desperately need a striker that can link-play, run channels or hold the ball up – they need one who can score goals.
Sharp does exactly that and if he can be brought in, helped with a defensive addition too, he could transform this team and a top six finish shouldn’t be ruled out.
Thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.