Derby County have reportedly made a move to sign Billy Sharp from Sheffield United.
Wayne Rooney’s side have been toothless in attack this season and, currently, only Sheffield Wednesday (15) have scored less than their 16 goals.
So, naturally, the focus this month is on signing a striker to bolster Rooney’s chance of helping the Rams avoid relegation.
Enter Billy Sharp.
As per Football Insider, there’s been a bid launched by the Rams to sign the 34-year-old.
Whether a deal materialises from here remains to be seen, but there are certain qualities that Sharp would bring to this Derby side that would be invaluable.
It doesn’t mater where Sharp has played his football, one thing has always remained with him and that is goals.
He’s scored them regularly throughout his career, with Sheffield United benefitting from his killer instinct in the Championship.
On the back of promotion from League One in 2017, Sharp scored 36 goals over the course of two seasons in the second-tier.
That included 23 the year the Blades won promotion, with Sharp proving that age is just an number as he fired his club back into the Premier League.
Even delivering half of that tally for Derby would surely keep them in the Championship.
A penalty area threat
Naturally, given Sharp’s goalscoring instinct, he provides a real presence in the penalty area.
Wyscout stats tell us that in 2017/18 and 2018/19, he averaged almost four touches per 90 in the opposition box (3.73 and 3.98).
Those are ridiculous numbers, with Sharp brave enough to put himself into goalscoring positions regularly.
Colin Kazim-Richards has been Derby’s most used striker in the Championship this season, but he averages only 2.19 touches in the penalty area per 90. That’s a stark contrast to Sharp and perhaps an indication of why Derby have struggled for goals this season.
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One thing that stats cannot account for is leadership or experience.
Sharp, at 34, has bags of experience and has shown impeccable leadership in recent seasons at Bramall Lane.
Chris Wilder’s side took the Championship by storm back in 2017, with Sharp leading them to promotion with his goals the following season.
The Premier League was no obstacle for the Blades last season either.
Of course, things are looking bleak for them now, but even then, Wilder never shrinks from responsibility and neither does his captain.
Sharp’s recent penalty against Newcastle United won the Blades their first fixture of the season. That was a pressure penalty, but there was only one man ever taking it.
The leader that Sheffield United needed and, potentially, the leader Derby County would be lucky to have.