PACE, width and reputedly a guaranteed source of goals, capturing Jamie Murphy has potentially seen Danny Wilson address all of the issues he prioritised during this month’s transfer window at the stroke of a pen.
Nevertheless, despite making no attempt to conceal his delight at acquiring the former Motherwell winger’s services, Sheffield United’s manager told The Star last night that time served members of his squad will ultimately decide whether Murphy fulfils that potential at Bramall Lane.
Murphy, coveted by Huddersfield Town and Glasgow Rangers before opting for a move to South Yorkshire, admitted leaving Scotland for the first time in his career was a “big” deal after signing a three-and-a-half year contract on Thursday.
But Wilson said: “Everyone knows that a player has to be happy off the pitch if they are going to perform at their best on it.
“But the good thing about this club is that people don’t take weeks, months or even years to settle. It only takes them a few days or even a matter of hours and that’s all down to the efforts of the lads in the dressing room already.
“They’ll make sure Jamie feels at home right away. They’ll take him out for dinner or lunch and they’ll invite him around to their houses rather than leave him just stuck in a hotel on his own after training.
“I know because I’ve seen them do it to all the other new arrivals here.
“That type of spirit is something you can’t buy and I’m really pleased the players are like that. It tells you a lot about them as people rather than just footballers.”
Murphy, who hit the target for Motherwell 11 times in 28 appearances this term, is expected to make his United debut during this afternoon’s FA Cup third round tie at Oxford.
As The Star revealed yesterday, Huddersfield attempted to hijack United’s negotiations with officials at Fir Park at the 11th hour last week while Rangers, contrary to reports, had also expressed an interest in recruiting Murphy.
However, restrictions placed upon Ally McCoist’s recruitment policy would have prevented them from finalising the proposed switch until three months after Murphy was scheduled to become a free agent in June.
Murphy, aged 23, acknowledged Motherwell’s qualification for the preliminary stages of this season’s Champions League had prompted him to rebuff an earlier approach from Blackpool.
Wilson said: “I think the fact that we’ve been interested in him for quite a long time influenced Jamie’s decision. At least I hope it did.
“We showed him and his father around and it was after that when I felt we’d got him.”
“We had made contact with Motherwell a while ago about Jamie,” added Wilson. “But no more than that although we’d been tracking him for quite a while.
“We were always looking to strengthen but, the same with everything else, it all comes down to finance.
“It was right for us to move for Jamie now. We felt that was the best course of action for us rather than wait because we wanted him.”