This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Derby County manager Phillip Cocu is looking to further strengthen his squad, with the Rams linked with a move for Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp, according to respected Sun journalist Alan Nixon on Twitter.
The experienced forward has been out of favour at Bramall Lane this season under Chris Wilder having made just the one start, scoring just once, on the opening day of the season at Bournemouth.
So would Sharp be a good fit at Pride Park and is he actually needed?
Ethan Van Ristell
“With Sharp starting just once for Sheffield United this season in the Premier League, a switch back to the second tier could prove to be a sensible decision for the player, and Derby would be getting a proven Championship marksman.
“The 33-year-old scored 23 league goals for the Blades last season as they achieved promotion, and Derby could do with some added firepower as Phillip Cocu’s side look to climb up the table during the second half of the season.
“The Rams have averaged just over a goal per game this campaign, with Martyn Waghorn their top scorer with eight strikes to his name.
“This deal could raise eyebrows considering Sharp’s age, but this gamble should pay off for Derby as they will be getting a player with a lot of experience of the division.”
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“This would be an excellent signing for the Rams, if they can get it done.
“Derby have started to turn their fortunes around and are unbeaten in their last five games but you feel they still need to make some serious improvements to their squad.
“No Rams player has a goal tally in double figures this term and only Martyn Waghorn has scored more than five goals, so adding a new forward makes a lot of sense.
“Sharp’s record in the Championship is undeniable, having scored more than 100 goals in the division and fired Sheffield United to promotion last season.
“I would question whether at his age he would really look to join a Derby side languishing in the bottom half of the table but perhaps Wayne Rooney’s presence might have some effect.”
“I think this would be rather pointless if I am honest.
“This season was always going to be one of transition for the Rams so it feels rather unnecessary to waste funds on a striker who is unlikely to be at the club for longer than six months.
“Billy Sharp is obviously a brilliant striker at Championship level, you would be a fool to dispute that.
“But the reality is that he is well on the downturn in his career and, with Derby where they are at the moment, they should be looking for strikers who will improve with them.”