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Why Sheffield United are absolutely right in turning down Derby County interest in 34-year-old veteran star

Billy Sharp

Why Sheffield United are right to turn down Billy Sharp exit

According to claims from Football Insider (h/t Derbyshire Live), Sheffield United have knocked back interest from Championship strugglers Derby County in veteran striker Billy Sharp.

It is understood that the Rams made contact with the Yorkshire outfit over a potential deal for the 34-year-old. Rams boss Wayne Rooney is on the lookout for some fresh additions to his squad and has earmarked the Blades marksman as a potential target. (Football Insider h/t Derbyshire Live)

However, as per the report, Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder is in no mood to sanction an exit for his most experienced striker. With the club locked in a relegation dogfight in the Premier League, the manager is not willing to listen to offers for the veteran this month.

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 01: James Tomkins of Crystal Palace in action with Billy Sharp of Sheffield United during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Sheffield United at Selhurst Park on February 1, 2020, in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

The Blades’ woes in the Premier League

From competing for a place in Europe to relegation contenders, Sheffield United have suffered a significant fall from grace over the past six months. The club’s impressive 9th-place finish in their first season back in the top-flight last term was widely acclaimed as a massive achievement for manager Chris Wilder.

However, things have been far from ideal this season as far as the Blades are concerned. United currently sit rock-bottom of the league standings with just 8 points accumulated from 20 games so far. Wilder’s side have scored the least number of goals (12) in the entire division, conceding as many as 33 in the process. 

The Yorkshire outfit have, however, shown some signs of resurgence in recent weeks. After picking up their first win of the campaign against Newcastle earlier in January, Sheffield United caused a massive upset by overcoming pace-setters Manchester United 2-1 at Old Trafford. 

GW27 Differentials: Billy Sharp
Sheffield United have knocked back interest from Derby County in Billy Sharp (Getty Images)

While those positive results have given the fans something to cheer about, United still have a lot to do if they are to preserve their top-flight status. With the Blades still 10 points adrift of safety, it will require a herculean effort from the players to beat the drop. 

Experience and quality

Suffice to say, Sheffield United desperately need to add more quality to their squad rather than lose some of their existing stars. Billy Sharp might not be a regular starter but he remains a key squad player in front of goal for Wilder.

Having said that, it’s a no-brainer that the Blades have made the right choice by turning down interest from Derby County in their experienced hitman. The 34-year-old still has close to 18 months remaining on his contract at Bramall Lane, meaning Sheffield United are absolutely under no pressure to cash in on him now. 

He'll never get that back off me' - Billy Sharp responds to critics with  first ever goal in Premier League as Sheffield United earn late point  against Bournemouth
Sharp has scored thrice in his last six games for the Blades (Getty Images)

Sharp was instrumental in the club’s promotion-winning campaign in the Championship back in 2018-19 with a 23-goal haul. He hasn’t been an undisputed starter in the top-flight over the past 18 months, which is pretty understandable given his advancing years.

Sharp, though, did a decent job last season, registering 3 goals and 2 assists from just 10 league starts. He has already scored twice from three starts in the Premier League so far this term.

Verdict

Given their struggles in finding the net this season, Sheffield United certainly can’t afford to lose any of their existing strikers. Lys Mousset has had his fair share of struggles with injuries while Rhian Brewster has offered next to nothing. Hence, keeping hold of Billy Sharp looks like a sensible decision for the basement battlers in the Premier League.

The Promoted: Clinical Sharp to copy Murray
Source: Getty Images

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In fact, Sharp has scored thrice in his last six games across all competitions for the Blades. That clearly points to an upturn of form for the talisman and the 34-year-old could well prove to be their saviour in the relegation battle if he continues his purple patch in the coming months.

Written by Sayan Chatterjee

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game.

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