Returning Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp has played down suggestions he has ‘unfinished business’ at Bramall Lane.
Sharp, a boyhood Blades fan, returned to South Yorkshire from Leeds United in a £500,000 deal at the weekend, 11 years after making his professional debut at Bramall Lane.
He left to enjoy a goal-laden spell at Scunthorpe United - under current Blades boss Nigel Adkins - before returning to his boyhood club in a £2m deal. Just eight goals in 51 league games later, he moved to Doncaster Rovers before spells at Southamton, Nottingham Forest and Reading.
And Sharp, speaking after being introduced to the United crowd before Chris Morgan’s testimonial game against Newcastle United on Saturday, said: “I’m delighted to be back. Hopefully I can live up to my potential this time.
“I was only a kid in my first spell here but in my second, I was a 20 year old who’d scored 56 goals in two seasons and cost £2million. True, I should have scored more goals but I didn’t feel like I was played enough.
“I can deal with that kind of thing now; I’m older and wiser, and more experienced. But I’ve been brought in to score goals and that, as a striker, is what I’ll be judged on, just like all the others here.”
Sharp scored 40 goals at Rovers before linking up with Adkins at Southampton, helping the Saints reach the Premier League.
“I didn’t want to leave United the first time,” 29-year-old Sharp added.
“But it turned out to be a good decision for my career; I played in the Premier League and had success at a few clubs. But in my heart, I’ve always wanted to come back to Bramall Lane.
“People may think I have unfinished business or whatever but I don’t see it like that. I’m just another player in the gaffer’s squad, and all I want to do is score goals for this club and get it back into the Championship.
“It would be special to help us get promoted, of course, but I can’t wait to score again at Bramall Lane.”