Sold for £500k, bagged 94 goals since: Hockaday flop shows Leeds were wrong to cash in – opinion

October 24, 2020

Leeds United have made some huge mistakes in the transfer market over the years.

The sale of Kasper Schmeichel should haunt Leeds to this day while the club’s failure to land John McGinn back in 2018 can only be described as a disaster.

However, there is one former Leeds man who is doing a decent job in the Premier League that shouldn’t be ignored, and that man is Billy Sharp.

Sharp, signed by Dave Hockaday in the summer of 2014, has scored goals in pretty much every division in England. In fact, he has scored more goals than any other player in this country since the turn of the millennium, but for one reason or another it didn’t quite work out for him at Leeds.

Indeed, he scored just five goals in 35 games for the Whites before being sold to Sheffield United, but since re-joining the Blades for £500k he’s been electric.

He’s scored 94 goals since leaving Leeds for just £500k and United have had their fair share of striker problems since then.

Patrick Bamford massively underperformed his xG last season, while United had the worst conversion rate of any team during the 2018/19 season by some way, a season in which Sharp scored 23 league goals.

You can understand exactly why Leeds were linked with bringing him back to the club back in January, and former United ace Danny Pugh thought it was an excellent idea at the time, saying:

“He’s proven. He’s definitely proven at that level, he’s got a great goalscoring record, and he’s been promoted several times, so I can see why he’s being linked.”

We’re not saying that Sharp would now be a better option than Bamford or Rodrigo at Leeds, but perhaps the Whites would have been promoted a little bit sooner if they had a finisher like Sharp in their ranks during times when goals were hard to come by, and perhaps he’d still do a job for them now as a poacher to come off the bench.

Watching a player you sold for just half a million pounds score 94 goals in just over five seasons has to hurt, and Leeds may have been better off giving him more of a chance at Elland Road.

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