Sheffield United could be about to part ways with experienced trio, Billy Sharp, Enda Stevens and John Fleck.
All three are out of contract this summer and have had indifferent seasons, despite being part of the squad that has won promotion to the Premier League.
Both Stevens and Fleck have suffered with different injuries. Sharp, meanwhile, has fallen off the pace behind Oli McBurnie and Iliman Ndiaye and failed to score his 250th goal despite featuring regularly in the run-in.
And according to Alan Nixon, Sharp could lead the exodus after meeting with club officials yesterday.
Writing on his Patreon account, Nixon claims that Sharp met with the club yesterday and the meeting ‘ended badly’.
It’s also claimed that United are heading to America to celebrate promotion and that Sharp might not even attend those celebrations. Question marks are also raised over Stevens and Fleck, although nothing is concrete with those two just yet.
Billy Sharp to leave Sheffield United?
The experienced skipper has been a stalwart of this Sheffield United team ever since Chris Wilder took over. He’s now been part of three promotions and scored the opening goal of the return to the Premier League against Bournemouth.
Sharp is, of course, seen as a club legend. But at the back end of his 30s and with little to show this year in terms of goals and assists, questions have been asked.
Sharp’s leadership in the dressing room is seen as a massive factor for Paul Heckingbottom. However, Sharp will be acutely aware his game time will be limited next season.
Further, United could also look to save money on certain contracts by not renewing.
Sheffield United News View: Sharp has to accept lesser role
The reality for Billy Sharp now is that he’s probably not at the level United need in the Premier League. That’s not to diminish his ability as a forward or his outstanding career. But more for the fact that the PL is at such a standard now, than the experience forward might not be able to contribute as much as he’d like.
The ideal scenario is Hecky finds room in his coaching set up for Sharp. A player/coach role would even be ideal, giving Sharp the chance to get in and around the squad if selected.
However, if that’s something he doesn’t want to accept but he still wants to play regularly, then it might be time to move on.
All three – Sharp, Stevens and Fleck – have been phenomenal players for the Blades. But like all good things, it has to come to an end at some point. Maybe, then, that time has come.