Championship

Profit Players: Billy Sharp

Leeds United supporters have been pretty satisfied in recent times after seeing their side fight back to earn a draw from their most recent Championship encounter.

Marcelo Bielsa’s men went into their meeting with Brentford on Saturday having won just one of their previous three league games, albeit still having lost on only one occasion in the Championship this term. Yet a second defeat looked on the horizon when Neal Maupay gave the visitors the lead at Elland Road, only for Pontus Jansson to preserve a point for the Whites with an equaliser late on into proceedings.

Thus, there have been many satisfied Leeds fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom are hoping that their side can get even better as the season wears on given some of their summer signings haven’t quite hit their stride just yet.

After all, the Whites hierarchy were praised for their efforts during the close season, although they may well be looking back on one past deal with a sense of regret, namely that of letting Billy Sharp leave the club for Sheffield United back in 2015 for just £635,000 (as per Transfermarkt).

And while they still made a £365,000 profit on the striker, given they signed him from Southampton for just £270,000 (as per Transfermarkt), the fact that the 32-year-old has continued to bang in the goals suggests that letting him go is looking more and more like a big mistake.

Ultimately, the Englishman made the move to Elland Road back in 2014 after falling down the pecking order at Southampton, to the point that he spent his final few years on the books at St Mary’s out on loan to the likes of Reading and Doncaster Rovers.

And Leeds, under the ownership of Massimo Cellino, lured the 32-year-old to Yorkshire in the summer of 2014 amid much excitement given his goal-scoring record, only for the forward to bag just five times in 33 Championship games for the Whites in their run to 15th place that season.

Thus, many supporters may well have forgiven the club’s hierarchy for cashing in on the striker that summer, allowing him to join the Blades for just £635,000, but he has since shown them the error of their ways in producing the goods in front of goal.

Sharp scored 21 goals in his first season at Bramall Lane before netting 30 the season after as Chris Wilder’s men won promotion back to the Championship, and a few seasons in the third tier doesn’t appear to have affected his ability in front of goal in the second tier given he then scored 13 times for the Blades last term in their run to tenth place in the division.

And the 32-year-old continues to prove his worth to manager Wilder with seven goals in just 11 league appearances this time round to help the Blades to top spot in the Championship table – thus, he looks set to play a vital part in what success they have this season.

But what it also underlines is that Leeds were one of just a few clubs that weren’t able to get the best out of the 32-year-old, and may well have been too hasty to get rid of him in the summer of 2015.

Yes, they made a profit on the striker, which shouldn’t be scoffed at, but the forward’s exit is looking more and more like a big Leeds mistake with every passing day.

Leeds fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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