In a strange parallel Universe where Billy Sharp was not playing for Sheffield United, he joined current promotion rivals Leeds on August 13, 2014, switching from Premier League side Southampton.
The forward was a lower league goal machine, commanding an impressive record at Scunthorpe United, Doncaster Rovers, Nottingham Forest and Sheffield United – and Leeds were presumably hoping to tap into his talents all those years ago.
— Billy Smith (@billysmith14) August 13, 2014
— Dan (@DanMeijer) August 13, 2014
— cameron (@CammyLufc) August 13, 2014
— Danny G (@DanGodfrey95) August 13, 2014
— AB (@Belzy_94) August 13, 2014
— Mike Cutler (@MikeCutler90) August 13, 2014
Indeed, it is hardly surprising that Leeds fans were so excited about the arrival of their new man. After all, the club had been chasing the heights of Premier League promotion for ten years and were desperate to replace the goal-scoring heroics of cult hero Luciano Becchio who had departed Elland Road to join Norwich City after five years of faithful service to the club.
So, who better than Billy Sharp to make these dreams a reality? The man had built up an impressive reputation as one of the Football League’s deadliest forwards in his time, and had recently helped Southampton back into the Premier League with a vital nine goals in 15 appearances.
Sharp may have considered himself a “fat boy”, as he jovially tweeted Southampton teammate Charlie Austin in 2012, “Charlie austin is doing us fat boys proud at the minute,goals for fun,he carries that form on he will have 20 for xmas”, but he was one of the most efficient players in the country when it came to putting the ball in the back of the net, and this was ideal at a time when they were not donning Bielsa’s intensive style of football.
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