Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughDoncaster may have to look hard for Billy Sharp's replacement - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Doncaster may have to look hard for Billy Sharp's replacement - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Doncaster may have to look hard for Billy Sharp’s replacement

The most notable absentee from Doncaster’s 2-0 FA Cup defeat at home to Notts County on Saturday was striker Billy Sharp, after the club had agreed a fee with Leicester for the transfer, in the region of £3 million. A clause was activated in Sharp’s contract meaning Nigel Pearson’s side were free to talk with the striker, meaning Dean Saunders is resigned to losing his prolific forward who has netted ten goals in sixteen games for Doncaster this season.

Leicester, who were on a run of one win in six before the 2-1 win at Crystal Palace last Monday, lie 12th in the table and Nigel Pearson will be looking to Sharp to replicate the form from his free-scoring days with Scunthorpe, where he hit 53 goals in 82 appearances, to fire Leicester to the more respectable league position that their summer outlay, in excess of £10 million under Sven Goran Eriksson, would suggest they should achieve.

Rovers’ manager Saunders has already identified the possible departure as a blow, but knows that he cannot stand in the way of Sharp if the interest from more advantageous clubs, the likes of West Ham and Wigan Athletic were all rumoured to be interested before Leicester cemented their willingness to sign him with this latest offer, “It will be a blow if he goes but it’s not completely decided. Anybody who scores goals is going to attract attention” said Saunders.

The loss of such a vital player will definitely be a massive hit to Rovers’ hopes of escaping the drop to League One as they lie stranded second from bottom, only three points above bottom-placed Coventry City. They would be relying on the goals of Sharp in order to pull them away from the drop zone, but now that his departure seems likely, Saunders will definitely have to enter the market for a replacement, “I know I look at strikers from the lower leagues” he said.

Crawley Town’s Matt Tubbs, who scored his 17th goal of the season in the FA Cup win over Bristol City, was revealed to be subject of a rejected bid from an unnamed club and their own struggles to balance the books could force the club in to selling the striker. Doncaster have also been linked with Fleetwood Town’s Jamie Vardy, whose 18 goals in 21 appearances for the Conference promotion hopefuls suggests a very bright future. His consolation goal in the 1-5 FA Cup loss at home to Blackpool was a great indication of the quality the 24 year old possesses and he would have sparked the interest of many bigger clubs with his goal-scoring record and reputation.

The likes of Jordan Rhodes, Huddersfield Town’s own goal-scoring machine, would be more likely to move to the higher end of the Championship hierarchy, and Saunders will be aware that his search for Sharp’s replacement will lie a little bit lower in ambition than that. However, there are many prolific strikers out there residing in the lower leagues as Saunders’s time as Wrexham boss would have alerted him to, so the £1.8 million profit made on Sharp doesn’t look to be bad business after all.


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