This article is part of Football League World’s ‘FLW Greats’ series, this content strand is where we look back on a player’s individual season and discuss how impressive they were…
The 2018/19 league campaign is a season that will live long in the memory of plenty of Sheffield United supporters, who saw their side make a timely return to the Premier League under the guidance of Chris Wilder.
The Blades’ strong finish to the season saw them beat Leeds United to second place, as they gained automatic promotion back into the top-flight.
A sluggish start to that campaign was soon behind them, and they’ve certainly made a good impression in the Premier League, as they sit seventh in the table with ten games remaining this season.
One player that starred in Sheffield United’s promotion in the 2018/19 season was Billy Sharp, who continues to endear himself to the Bramall Lane faithful.
Competition for places in the Sheffield United team was fierce, but Sharp’s impressive goal record ensured that he remained a key player in Wilder’s team for the majority of their promotion-winning campaign.
Sharp didn’t start Sheffield United’s first two games of the season, which they subsequently lost, and that could have been a turning point for the Blades.
He then started his first league game of the season against QPR, and scored against the Hoops as they ran out 2-1 winners. That was then followed up by a goal against Championship winners Norwich City, and the tone was then set for the rest of the season for Sharp.
The 34-year-old scored two hat-tricks in total that season, which came against both Wigan Athletic and promotion rivals Aston Villa.
The one against Dean Smith’s side is one that will remain in the memories of the majority of the Sheffield United fans, and not for all of the right reasons.
Sharp netted his three goals in the space of 51 minutes, to put his side three goals ahead, but the home side responded with quick-fire goals from Tyrone Mings and Tammy Abraham late on. Andre Green then lashed home a late equaliser to put a dent into Sheffield United’s promotion bid at the time.
That certainly seemed to knock the confidence out of Sharp, who failed to score in their next five league games, which will have been frustrating for a striker of his quality. In that run without a goal though, he did assist Chris Basham for the winner against Leeds United at Elland Road, which saw the Blades take the ascendancy in the race for the Premier League.
At the age of 34, Sharp is like a fine wine, and is only getting better with age. He has netted four goals in total this season for Sheffield United, as they look to keep themselves in contention to compete for a place in European competitions next term.