Few could have predicted the impact Sheffield United would have on their return to the Sky Bet Championship, with Chris Wilder’s side sensational and heading to the top of the table following Friday’s victory over Leeds United.
One player who has stood out for the Blades so far this season is Leon Clarke, who has come in for incredible praise from Wilder earlier this week, with the 32-year-old establishing himself as the focal point of attack.
Clarke has scored four goals this season, and despite not finding the net in his last four appearances, his performance has still been impressive, with his work off the ball exceptional.
Here at FLW, our writers give their thoughts on Clarke and if he has been the surprise of the season so far.
Chris Wilder has transformed Leon Clarke into a hard-working, clinical striker and he’s in the form of his life.
Clarke is now a fundamental cog in Wilder’s XI, and without his desire and tenacity up-front, I don’t think the Blades would be were they are right now.
Yes, just like his team, Clarke has been magnificent.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect is his work-rate and link-up play that has been questioned over the years.
Key goals against Wednesday and Wolves grabbed the headlines but Clarke is still putting in great performances without scoring, as he showed against Leeds on Friday.
The striker has enjoyed a mixed career but has really settled at Bramall Lane.
The ultimate journeyman in the Football League, it looks as though Clarke finally has a home at Sheffield United and he is loving it.
Chris Wilder, somehow, has got a fine tune out of him this season where so many managers have not been able to and it’s helping the Blades challenge for the very top.
This is one of Wilder’s biggest successes so far.