In just their second season back in the Championship after six straight years in League One, a return to the Premier League would cap what has already been an unforgettable year for Sheffield United fans, thanks in no small part to a landmark season for one of Bramall Lane’s favourite sons.
Billy Sharp’s 22 league goals for the Blades this season have seen him pass both the 100 goal mark in the red and white shirt, and the 220 career league goals mark, making him the highest scoring player in English league football this century surpassing Rickie Lambert’s previous total.
As well as proving hugely popular around Bramall Lane, those goals have been crucial in The Blades push for a first return to the Premier League since United’s controversial relegation from the top tier in 2007.
Sharp’s record-breaking season is testament in so many ways to his longevity, determination and natural instinct to be in the right at the right time that has never wavered throughout his long career, something that only has to be admired even more given what the striker experienced earlier in his career.
With the race for the Premier League heading into the final stretch, the third-placed Blades’ face a huge encounter on Saturday when they host Leeds United, with the winners taking automatic promotion into their own hands.
With Sharp not having found the back of the net since the hat trick that saw him reach a century of strikes for the Blades against Aston Villa six games ago, this would surely be the perfect moment for the forward to end hismini-droughtt.
What has been impressive about Sheffield United this season is that they have so far managed to avoid the mid-season loss of form that saw them surrender a relatively strong grip on a playoff place last season. Sharp’s goals could be crucial in helping the Blades see that through to the end of the season, and in a season that has seen him achieve so much individually, it would be fitting if this was the moment that he finally secured a chance in the top tier with the club that he has served with such distinction for so long.