Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has hinted Leon Clarke could have a role to play at the club.
Despite being transfer-listed this summer, Clarke has played a part in the Blades’ last two matches in all competitions.
The striker started the Carabao Cup defeat to Sunderland and then came off the bench against Liverpool at the weekend.
“We had Leon in if we needed to go back to front late on and chase the match,” Wilder told the Sheffield Star. “He is physical and we can go a different way.
“There were options for him in the summer. He’s a good character and mixes well.”
The “options” Wilder mentions refers to Doncaster Rovers and Shrewsbury Town. Both sides expressed an interest in signing Clarke during the close season.
What role could Leon Clarke have this year?
Wilder appears to believe that Clarke can act as the target-man should United need to go route one. However, it should also be pointed out that the 34-year-old was afforded a chance against the Reds because of injury and suspension.
Captain Billy Sharp served the final match of his three-game ban for a straight red card. Meanwhile, David McGoldrick was unavailable after picking up a groin problem in training.
In their absence Oli McBurnie and Callum Robinson once again started together upfront. Lys Mousset was included on the bench alongside Clarke – with both coming on.
So if the Blades’ 2017/18 top scorer is to play a part this term, it’s likely to be as sixth choice. Yet it is still quite the turnaround for a player who a short while ago was being offered a move to League One.
Even last campaign Clarke found himself short of game time at Bramall Lane. The forward was loaned to Wigan Athletic for the second half of 2018/19.
So after falling down the pecking order and finding himself on the transfer list, Clarke is now a Premier League attacker.