Leeds United may soon be in the market for another striker.
Reports are circulating that Eddie Nketiah will soon be recalled by Arsenal, and if that happens, United will be forced to replace him.
Numerous strikers have been linked with a move to Elland Road including Sam Cosgrove, Che Adams and Rhian Brewster, but one link has emerged in recent days as Billy Sharp has been touted with a move to Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
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But would he be a good signing? Bielsa’s strikers have to do a lot of running and aged 33, Sharp may not have the necessary stamina to do the work that the Argentine demands from his forwards.
We asked our team of writers to give their verdicts on whether or not Sharp would be a good signing.
“In this situation, I can’t help but feel Leeds would be making a mistake in trying to land Billy Sharp, especially when someone like Che Adams is also a target. The 33-year-old may have scored 23 goals last term but he isn’t exactly getting any younger and instead, someone like Adams could add a refreshing twist to the side, specifically if they lose Eddie Nketiah.
“Youthful exuberance is what Bielsa has preferred at times. You only need to look at his bench which regularly includes Robbie Gotts and Jordan Stevens to notice that. However, one benefit would be that Sharp is likely to accept being on the bench more, which is arguably what Leeds need. Patrick Bamford has started all but one league match this term so it seems hard to envisage him being dropped. He continued to play despite going ten games without scoring at one point.
“In this regard, a move would make sense, but given his age and perhaps dwindling ability, scoring once this season, Leeds should focus on other targets. If they are to achieve promotion, they must be meticulous in their pursuit of new signings in January.”
“With 114 goals to his name in Championship football, Billy Sharp may be the closest thing to guaranteed success at Leeds.
“The 33-year-old has proven himself to be a prolific goal-scorer at lower league level, and Marcelo Bielsa would be wise to target the veteran as Eddie Nketiah’s potential replacement. Patrick Bamford’s recent resurgence – he has six goals in his last nine appearances in the Championship – means that the Whites perhaps don’t necessarily need another front-line striker.
“Rather a man who can come in for the odd game from the start, or offer some predatory instincts from off-the-bench. And Sharp certainly fits that bill.
“At his age, there may not be any real expectations on him making the line-up week-in and week-out. If he understands the role of being second-fiddle to Bamford, then he can help fire Leeds to promotion with important goals at important times. A swoop for Sharp would ease the pain of losing Nketiah.”
“This would be a real coup from Leeds but it would be very surprising if they managed to pull it off, even though Billy Sharp has started just two games this season.
“He is so prolific in the Championship and has scored 23 and 13 league goals in the previous two years, which proves he’d be a threat for Leeds. He may be getting on a bit but he has spent the first half of the season barely playing so he would be fresh and ready to fire another club to promotion.
“Sharp is experienced when it comes to getting clubs up having helped Southampton into the Premier League in a similar fashion in 2012, and there is little doubt that he could make a significant impact at Leeds as either a starter or a sub.”
“I don’t think Billy Sharp has what it takes to lead the line for Leeds United.
“Funnily enough, I think he’d be brilliant at every other Championship club, but the amount of running that Bielsa demands from his strikers means that the self-proclaimed “Fat lad from Sheffield” would struggle.
“United have to sign a player who would suit their system or else they’d end up with another Eddie Nketiah situation where they have a player just sitting on the bench.”
“The Whites should steer clear of Sharp and look towards one of their other targets that would be more suited to their style of play.”
In other news, Leeds missing out on one striker could be a blessing in disguise.