Diego De Girolamo is determined to establish himself at Sheffield United after penning a two-year deal at Bramall Lane yesterday.
De Girolamo, the Italian youth international, made the pledge after committing his immediate future to United just months after appearing destined to leave.
The 19-year-old enjoyed a prolific first loan spell at York City but ended the season at Northampton Town, as his United team-mates lost to Swindon Town in the semi-finals of the League One play-offs under Nigel Clough.
De Girolamo, who endured a strained relationship with Clough before the former Derby manager left Bramall Lane, looked set to move on before discussions with Nigel Adkins, Clough’s predecessor, prompted a change of heart. He has penned a tw0-year deal, with the option of a third.
“It would be fair to say last season didn’t go to plan for me personally,” De Girolamo, who was born in Chesterfield but qualifies for the Azzurrini by virtue of his Italian father, said.
“But having thought at length about the situation, and having discussed it with my representatives and family over the summer, we all came to the conclusion that my future remains with Sheffield United for at least the next two years, and hopefully beyond.
“I have begun pre-season with first-team squad and like everyone else I am determined to impress the new faffer and his staff.
“It has been tough but I am feeling fit, strong and raring to go.
“I am keen to prove myself and hopefully if I do that it will lead to a number of first-team opportunities in the months ahead, that’s my aim and I am going to work extremely hard to make it happen.”
United’s decision to offer De Girolamo a 12-month deal, before Clough’s departure, meant that they would recoup a sizeable compensation fee were he to move elsewhere, due to his age.
The teenager has made nine senior appearances for United since his professional debut in a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie at Coventry back in 2012.