Sheffield United forward Billy Sharp has set himself the aim of becoming the all-time Championship top scorer in the next campaign, speaking about this target with Yorkshire Live.
The 35-year-old has bagged himself a remarkable 114 goals in the Championship throughout his playing career – and is currently seven away from equally David Nugent’s tally who is currently the man to beat.
Nugent is a free agent after being released by Preston North End this summer and may not get another chance to impress in the Championship, after spending the second half of last season on loan at League Two outfit Tranmere Rovers.
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This will give Sharp an advantage in his quest to break the record, but he also has Jordan Rhodes for company.
Rhodes, who returned to Huddersfield Town on a free transfer this summer, is currently one goal ahead of the Sheffield United captain in this race and will receive plenty of first-team opportunities at the John Smith’s Stadium during the upcoming campaign to improve this outstanding tally.
Nonetheless, the 35-year-old still has his eye on this target and in an interview with Yorkshire Live, he said: “The Championship goal record would be nice to get.
“I’m sure Jordan Rhodes is looking at it too because David (Nugent) is not playing in the Championship and me and Jordan are.
“I might get a goal and then the week after he might go past me, or vice versa.
“I just want to score goals for Sheffield United.”
The Blades’ skipper is firmly in contention to play a part in their opening league game against Birmingham City on Saturday night, after recovering from his severe thigh problem and returning to full fitness in pre-season.
And if his response to a fan on Twitter earlier this week is anything to go by, he’s desperate to get amongst the action again.
With fellow Sheffield United forward Lys Mousset impressing new manager Slavisa Jokanovic over the past month, it’s currently unclear how often he will start for the South Yorkshire side.
The Serbian has multiple options up top at Bramall Lane with the likes of Rhian Brewster, Oliver McBurnie and David McGoldrick also competing for a spot, and because of this, whether he opts to start with one or two strikers could determine the number of minutes Sharp can get under his belt.
His performance levels in training will also contribute to the amount of pitch time he gets.
And although his status as club captain may seem to give him an advantage over others, no one is guaranteed a start under Jokanovic and he needs to continue working hard if he wants to return to his form from previous years.
The skipper’s 23 Championship goals during the promotion-winning 2018/19 season shows what he’s capable of – but he now needs to fend off internal competition in South Yorkshire if he’s to beat Jordan Rhodes and David Nugent to become the all-time Championship top scorer.