Chris Wilder has given his view on Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp following in his footsteps and becoming a manager.
Like Wilder, Sharp is a boyhood Blades fan and came through the academy at Bramall Lane. The striker has enjoyed a fantastic career since. No other player has scored more goals in the top four divisions of English football this century.
However, barring 18 minutes across two appearances for Southampton, the Premier League had proven elusive to Sharp up until this season.
Yet as skipper, the forward has been instrumental in United’s rise through the divisions under Wilder. Sharp has been key during two promotions in three years to go from League One to the top flight.
Now aged 34, he has finally scored in the Premier League, but is coming towards the twilight years of his career.
So what next for Blades captain Billy Sharp?
An influential figure both on and off the pitch for United, a move into management probably wouldn’t surprise many Blades fans.
During a recent interview on BBC Radio 5 Live Sport, Wilder joked that Sharp was already acting like the boss around the club.
“He’s got a lot of knowledge about everything – as he keeps telling me. He wants to be a manager now, so I might even give him an opportunity if we get back going again!” the 52-year-old said.
Yet when presenter Mark Chapman further questioned Wilder on the prospect, the United chief said Sharp does have many of the characteristics required.
“First and foremost, he’s been an outstanding captain for us over the last three years. The decision to make him captain has been a very successful one,” Wilder continued.
“Every challenge that has been put in front of him he’s overcome. To start off a coaching and managerial career he’s got to go through the system – the badges, as everybody talks about.
“But he’s certainly a leader in the dressing room.”