Leeds United: Sharp’s exit is tinged with regret

Billy Sharp.
Billy Sharp.
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Billy Sharp admitted that his departure from Leeds United was tinged with disappointment after signing for Sheffield United on a two-year deal.

Sharp completed a move to Bramall Lane late on Saturday night, bringing an end to his year-long stay at Elland Road.

Sheffield United paid an undisclosed fee to wrap up the transfer after a week of advanced talks with Leeds.

The League One club expressed a firm interest in Sharp earlier in the summer and the 29-year-old was one of a number of players who Leeds made available for transfer at the start of the FIFA window.

He returned home early from Leeds’ tour of Austria and Norway last week to open negotiations with Sheffield United and the deal was sealed after Sharp passed a medical on Saturday morning.

Sharp, who has spent two previous spells at Bramall Lane, sent a message of thanks to Leeds’ supporters but said his short time at Elland Road did not go “as well as I would have liked.”

He made 35 appearances for United but scored only five goals, his last in a 2-1 win at home to Ipswich Town in March.

Sharp said: “It goes without saying a massive thank you to the Leeds fans who believed and supported me whenever I pulled on the famous white shirt.

“Sadly things haven’t gone how I would have liked. I always wanted to play for Leeds and will have fond memories of my short time there.”

Leeds paid £600,000 to sign Sharp from Southampton a year ago but he was in and out of their side last season and low down the order under current head coach Uwe Rosler following the signing of Chris Wood and Lee Erwin.

Rosler used him in only one first-team friendly this summer and left him out of last week’s 2-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt in Austria with his move to Sheffield United edging closer.

Sharp’s transfer reunites him with Nigel Adkins, a manager he played for at Scunthorpe United, Southampton and Reading.

Sharp – a boyhood Blades fan – said: “It’s a pleasure to be back working with a manager who believes in me and of course it’s fantastic to play for the club I’ve grown up supporting.”

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