Alan Biggs at Large: Sammon and Sharp could be dream ticket for Blades

Blades boss Nigel Adkins with Billy Sharp and Conor Sammon
Blades boss Nigel Adkins with Billy Sharp and Conor Sammon

Taking nothing away from the player, his formidable record and his fervour for Sheffield United, the call for Billy Sharp to rejoin Sheffield United was slightly below a clamour.

Many a Blades fan in contact with this column was a bit unsure.

But one thing swung it. Nigel Adkins. Without the appointment of the manager who has coaxed the best form of Billy’s career, I think the reception would have been more muted against the background of a £500,000 fee and an expensive contract.

Put the two parts together and this was a combination not to be missed.

It’s not just that Adkins, as proven at Scunthorpe, Southampton and, to a lesser extent, Reading, knows how to harness Sharp as an individual. It’s that he knows how to set up a team to get the best out of him.

Conor Sammon’s arrival as a big target man seems to be geared in that direction.

Unlike Sharp (151 career goals at a fair lick), Sammon is not prolific, taking an average of several games for each of his tally of 43. But it is the mix that matters and the former Derby striker would not have been in regular employment, including huge demand from Championship clubs on loan, had he not been an outstanding hold-up player, dominant in the air.

They have yet to team up but Billy should have plenty to feed off considering Adkins’ attacking outlook and belief in wingers. He’s not, as we know, the quickest, but the hunger, desire and instinct for goals are all stronger than ever after the move he wanted.