Sheffield United: Billy Sharp is backed give Premier League defenders a headache next term
Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp is being backed to continue his goal-scoring form at Premier League level next season after Chris Wilder predicted playing top-flight football will bring out the best in the centre-forward.
Despite making plans to sign two new strikers during this summer's transfer window, the United manager is backing Sharp to prove a hit at the highest level after taking his game "to new levels" in recent years.
"The lad just keeps on going, keeps getting better and keeps proving people wrong," Wilder said. "I honestly think he's playing the best football of his career now. Bill gets better as he goes on. I think he's taken his game to new levels."
Sharp, aged 33, was on target 24 times last term as United secured automatic promotion from the Championship. Midway through the campaign, he became the most prolific Englishman in the domestic game this century, surpassing Rickie Lambert's record of 219 goals.
Wilder, who made Sharp his captain after taking charge of United in 2016, said: "Bill is an example to others because he's taken a look at his game, brought new things to the table and yet kept on doing what he's good at.
"We all know he's always scored goals. He's done it right to way through his career. But there's more to him than that. He contributes in so many other ways, brings so many other different things to the table, as well."
"You know he'll do what he's always done and that's go away, work hard and make sure he's in the best possible shape to carry on doing what he's been doing," Wilder added. "That's the professional in him."