There were plenty of positives for Bradford City to take out of the 2016/17 campaign, as they continued their progression under Stuart McCall and reached the play-off final, only to be denied a return to the second-tier by Steve Morison’s late strike for Millwall.
One thing was apparent in Bradford’s 1-0 defeat to Millwall at Wembley – they lacked the cutting edge that was required to take the next step up the footballing ladder.
McCall has moved to add the promising Dom Poleon to his striking options, but the 23-year-old has just 30 first-team goals to his name and there is doubt if he can be the man to support Charlie Wyke at Valley Parade next season.
One player McCall could potentially turn to is Sheffield United’s Leon Clarke.
Clarke was part of Chris Wilder’s promotion winning squad in League One last season, and despite most of the accolades at Bramall Lane falling to Billy Sharp last year, Clarke’s impact during the run-in did not go unnoticed.
The 32-year-old scored nine goals across all competitions last season from his 26 appearances.
However, from his final six appearances of the season, Clarke scored six goals, helping Wilder’s side reach promotion, then the League One title and eventually the 100-point mark.
Clarke’s role with the Blades was to support Sharp, and McCall should pursue a move for the striker with the hope he can play a similar role for the Bantams.
Bradford struggled to find their cutting edge when it really mattered last season, whilst Clarke found his at the same time to fire Sheffield United to promotion.
The addition of Clarke this summer could see Bradford end their long wait for a Championship return.