Sunderland would be top of League One if they pulled off Billy Sharp summer coup

Sunderland’s summer transfer target Billy Sharp has been in brilliant form for Sheffield United so far this season, and if Black Cats boss Jack Ross had got his own way in the summer then his team would be top of League One right now.

What’s the word, then?

Well, the Sunderland Echo reported following the closure of the summer transfer window that the Wearside outfit had made a move to bring the Blades captain to the Stadium of Light, but the 32-year-old rejected an exit to remain with his boyhood club.

Even though Conor Washington and David McGoldrick arrived at Bramall Lane during the summer to compete with Sharp and Leon Clarke for a spot in the starting XI, the United captain has continued to be the key goalscorer for the Yorkshire club.

The former Leeds United and Southampton hitman scored a brace as Chris Wilder’s side ended Blackburn Rovers’ 25-match unbeaten record at Ewood Park with a 2-0 victory on Wednesday night.

Where would Sunderland be if they signed him?

They would be top of the division, no doubt.

A number of injury issues for summer addition Charlie Wyke mean that Ross, whose comments suggest a 24-year-old is set to play an unlikely criticial role, has largely had to rely on youngster Josh Maja to spearhead his team’s attack so far this term, and the addition of Sharp would have added some much-needed experience and a further goal threat up top – even if the Black Cats are currently averaging two goals per game.

Sunderland are seven points adrift of Portsmouth at the summit – having drawn five of their 11 league fixtures – as things stand however, and the 32-year-old is someone that would have made the difference between picking up a point and three in some of those games.