Former Sheffield Wednesday defender Lewis Buxton has admitted that he isn’t surprised by the clinical goalscoring record by Sheffield United striker, Leon Clarke ahead of the highly anticipated Steel City derby on Friday evening.
Clarke has scored 20 goals in 53 Championship games for the Blades, having netted 35 in his previous 207 appearances at that level.
Buxton and Clarke played together whilst at Sheffield Wednesday before the striker departed for QPR in 2010.
The Owls legend discussed his time playing in the same side as Clarke on the Alan Biggs’ TV show and was full of praise for his former team-mate.
‘I just remember playing one-on-one against him in training and he had such ability, he would just breeze past me a couple of times if he fancied it.
‘He’s one of those players that in my personal view, he could play higher up than the Championship regularly, certainly in the bottom tier of the Premier League, I felt like, and who knows what could happen from there.’
Buxton made 2017 appearances in total for Sheffield Wednesday and outlined Clarke’s main attributes that could prove to be a threat to his former side in Friday’s game.
‘He’s strong, he’s got decent pace, he can finish. So to me it’s no surprise that happened.
‘There’s that management side of it (Chris Wilder’s influence), the relationship between players, you can bring the best out of them.’
It’s sure to be a fiercely fought battle between the two local rivals in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Friday evening, and Clarke will be hoping to play a vital part in the game to help aid his side’s promotion push this season.
There’s no doubt in any Sheffield United fans’ mind that Leon Clarke will play a crucial part in the club’s promotion bid to the Premier League this season.
Even though he faces stiff competition from the likes of David McGoldrick for a starting spot in Chris Wilder’s side, Clarke will be keen to rediscover the sort of form that has made him a fans favourite at Bramall lane in recent seasons.
His goalscoring record speaks for itself and he will certainly be up for the game on Friday, which could see the Blades return to top spot in the Championship table.