Former Hull City player Dean Windass has backed Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp to be a valuable player for the Blades next season in an interview with Football Fancast, following their relegation from the Premier League.
Sharp, 35, spent the latter part of last season out with a muscle injury and made just 16 appearances during the 2020/21 Premier League campaign, scoring three goals in a relatively unsuccessful season for the forward.
However, his overall record at Bramall Lane, recording 111 goals in 290 appearances for the South Yorkshire side, is faultless and Sharp will be hoping to enjoy a more successful season in the next campaign.
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In Sunday’s injury update by manager Slavisa Jokanovic, he revealed the 35-year-old is still working with the club’s medical department but could soon be available for selection, a major boost for a forward desperate to contribute heavily next year in their quest to get straight back to the Premier League.
However, he will be in stiff competition with Oli McBurnie, Lys Mousset, Rhian Brewster and Oliver Burke, David McGoldrick for a spot up front, but only the latter really stepped up to the plate for the Blades last season in what was a dire year for the club.
This, combined with his status as their captain, could persuade Jokanovic to make him his first-choice forward if he’s fully fit and up to speed in time for their opening league game against West Bromwich Albion next month.
Former player Dean Windass had some kind words for Sharp and in an interview with Football Fancast, commented: “Billy Sharp will be a big player for them next year. I know he’s getting on a little bit, but he’ll still get you goals in the Championship.”
I’m not sure if the 35-year-old will appreciate the ‘getting on’ part of the quote but I’m sure he will appreciate the rest of it!
Sharp has been a reliable goalscorer for Sheffield United over the years but it will be interesting to see how he plays after having an operation on his muscle injury from last season.
One other thing to look out for is how McBurnie performs after relegation, because he could excel in the Championship again like he did for Swansea City before his move to Bramall Lane.
But their performances behind closed doors in pre-season will be what counts and it will be interesting to see a couple of things from Jokanovic. Firstly, if he will go with one or two up top and secondly, who starts ahead of who.
There’s a lot of competition in the attacking department and plenty of Championship quality in there. But if he can return to his old form, Sharp has every chance of playing a key role next year.