Sheffield United have had a long-standing relationship with striker Billy Sharp.
He’s been with the club since 2015 and has accumulated well over 200 games for the side – and in that time, he’s become quite the club legend and quite a fan favourite. He remains an ever present in the side and can still hit the net on a regular basis too at 35-years-old. In fact, he already has three goals and four assists in just 11 Championship games so far this campaign.
But there’s no denying that Sharp is entering the latter stages of his career (as much as the player and his fans would hate to admit it) – so is now the right time to try and find a replacement for the forward?
22 questions about Sheffield United’s away kits from over the years – Can you get full marks?
He’s been a fantastic servant to the club and he’ll certainly have a part to play this season. He’s already their joint top-scorer and could be crucial for them as they try and launch yet another bid for promotion with him leading the line.
Sheffield United though may have to consider looking now for someone to replace Sharp – someone who could come in now and gain some valuable wisdom and experience by learning from the striker before coming into the side and making the spot his own.
Some might argue that they already have a potential candidate at the club in Rhian Brewster but so far the 21-year-old has failed to have the desired impact that many expected him to have since his move from Liverpool.
If Brewster can begin to reach that potential that many expected of him and learn from one of the best in Sharp – and get some regular playing time – there is no reason why he couldn’t be that replacement.
However, the Blades should still consider having a look around in January because once Sharp decides to leave or hang up his boots, they currently don’t have many viable options to step in and replace him or to carry the goalscoring burden.
It would definitely be wise then for the club to start searching now – and Sharp could become somewhat of a tutor to any new signing. He wouldn’t be a bad mentor by any means.
Who should they consider, then? They’d want to look for someone young with a lot of potential – and preferably someone who has already scored a few goals at a good level like League One or even the Championship if possible. That would mean someone like perhaps Tyreece John-Jules, who is currently at Blackpool, but has previously played for Doncaster and bagged goals, and is just 20-years-old. If they could prise him away from Arsenal then the potential is there.
If not him, then even someone like Shayne Lavery at the same side.
Either way, it could be worth having a look and seeing who is available – and then bringing them in to allow a smooth transition when Sharp is no longer available with the Blades.