Derby County could be set to bolster their fire-power dramatically in the final week of the transfer window, as Football Insider say that the Rams have made an approach to Sheffield United for Billy Sharp.
The evergreen 34-year-old has made just seven league appearances for the Blades in 2020/21 as they struggle to acclimatise to their second Premier League season, and he could be receptive to going out on loan for the rest of the campaign.
Sharp is a prolific scorer at Championship level, scoring 36 times in 74 games in the second tier between 2017 and 2019, and hit double figures in the same league four other times earlier in his career for Doncaster and Nottingham Forest.
Simply put he knows where the back of the net is, and if he’s not going to get game-time at Bramall Lane then a Championship club could make the most of his expertise – and Derby are in need of someone to fire in the goals on a regular basis.
Let’s look at one winner and one loser if Sharp does indeed complete a deal to take him to Pride Park.
Winner: Wayne Rooney
Rooney will be relieved that the December wages fiasco is now sorted and that he can move to bring in some fresh faces, and considering he was a natural goalscorer in his pomp he will be searching for that player who can fire in a goal every game or two to get the Rams out of a relegation battle.
And Sharp may very well be that man. Rooney has the tools in midfield to create openings through the likes of Kamil Jozwiak and Jason Knight, but he doesn’t have many options when it comes to getting on the end of them.
Sharp can play on the shoulder of the last man and still has that short burst of pace and energy even though his career is seemingly winding down – it would be a big coup for Rooney if he can convince Sharp to become a Ram.
Sibley? Jozwiak? – Can you name which Derby County player scored each these 15 goals this season?
Loser: Colin Kazim-Richards
County fans probably didn’t expect Kazim-Richards to come in and make the impact he has, but his hold-up play has made the Derby attack a better unit and he’s also been in the goals as well.
The 34-year-old has got four goals to his name this season and has benefitted from the fact that Rooney doesn’t have many senior options to choose from – and if Derby can convince the Blades to part with Sharp for the rest of the season then Kazim-Richards will probably not be a regular starter anymore.
Rooney could perhaps switch systems to play a 4-4-2 but he’s gone with a 4-2-3-1 for pretty much all of his games in charge so far, meaning that an unlucky player would have to vacate their spot – the most likely being Kazim-Richards.