Four Championship clubs targeting Leon Clarke

Four Championship clubs targeting Leon Clarke

Up to four clubs are reportedly interested in signing Sheffield United striker Leon Clarke before the close of the January transfer window according to reports.

Hull City, Bristol City, Millwall and Wigan Athletic are the sides in question who are monitoring the 33-year-olds situation at Bramall Lane. Rotherham United have also been rumoured to have shown an interest in the striker, but that appears to be a non-starter.

All four clubs are looking to bolster their attacking options before February 1st and a player such as Clarke who has scored goals throughout his career would be a very astute addition.

Clarke has played 24 league games for the Blades this season, but only seven of those have been starts and he has not played 90 minutes since the first weekend of November. He has struggled to get in ahead of Billy Sharp and summer arrival David McGoldrick who have struck up a lethal partnership with 26 goals between them already this term.

Added to that Chris Wilder has also signed Cardiff City striker Gary Madine on loan in this transfer window, which has pushed Clarke even further down the pecking order. He is currently claiming a place on the bench ahead of Conor Washington, but with the Northern Irishman being their only forward with pace it seems more likely that Clarke would be the player to leave if Sheffield United opt to sell.

The arrival of Gary Madine has pushed Leon Clarke down the pecking order at Bramall Lane

Clarke was a key figure in Sheffield United’s first season back in the second tier, scoring 19 goals in the 2017/18 campaign. He was the second top goalscorer in the Championship and produced some memorable moments including a brace against former club and bitter rivals Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough as well as scoring four goals in one match against Hull City.

This season he has been far less prolific however, as you would expect given his reduced game time. He has scored three goals – albeit all of them were important ones in the Blades gaining points against Stoke City, Brentford and Derby County – as well as picking up three assists too.

It remains to be seen whether or not Wilder would be willing to part with the player, who has been a reliable asset to him since the both arrived at Bramall Lane in the summer of 2016. The Blades are chasing promotion this season and with him being a proven goalscorer at this level, it would surely be a sensible move to keep him on until the end of the campaign – unless they have a replacement lined up.