Chris Wilder believes Enda Stevens will perfectly complement Sheffield United’s style of play after unveiling the former Portsmouth man as his third summer signing yesterday.
Left-back Stevens, aged 26, has agreed a three-year deal at Bramall Lane and will officially join the Blades on July 1 when his Pompey contract expires.
The former Aston Villa and Doncaster Rovers man helped Pompey win the League Two title last season and was voted Player’s Player of the Year.
And Wilder, who has already tied up deals for Ched Evans and Hartlepool winger Nathan Thomas as United prepare for life in the Championship, said: “We had Enda at Northampton on loan and it was clear he needed to play regular football.
“He’s done that over the last couple of years and picked up a few honours at Portsmouth.
“He is an attacking full-back and the way we play, the wide areas are important - Enda provides us with extra options. He is a good age and has designs to play international football.”
Paul Cook, the Pompey boss, was desperate to retain Stevens’ services and tie him to a new deal, and has tipped the left-back for full Republic of Ireland honours.
“I’m delighted the paperwork has been done early, it gives me the chance to settle in and concentrate on my football as soon as we report back for pre-season training,” Stevens said.
“I enjoyed working under the gaffer [Wilder] for a short spell at Northampton and how he plays the game is similar to the approach at Portsmouth so hopefully it will be a smooth transition.
“Once Sheffield United came calling, my mind was made up.
“As I say, I know the manager well and I know a lot about the club, the fans and the stadium, too, so there was no need to look elsewhere.
“The gaffer’s record over the last two seasons speaks for itself and I can’t wait to hit the ground running.”
Meanwhile, Wales U21 boss Rob Page has not given up hope that United’s David Brooks will one day represent his side.
Brooks was named in the Welsh squad for the Toulon Tournament later this month, before withdrawing after accepting an invitation to play for England at the same event.
But Page, who played over 100 times for United, admitted: “He committed to play for England, but it doesn’t mean the door is closed for Wales.
“Unfortunately on this one we just missed out, but that is not to say in the future he will not be part of the Welsh set up.
“No doubt our paths will cross out there and I want him to go and have a good camp, but inevitably I want him to come and be part of the Welsh set up.
“I am disappointed we haven’t got him this time, but we are not going to close the door on him and none of the young lads have to commit themselves to one country at this moment in time.”