Leon Clarke has described joining Sheffield United as an “opportunity I could not turn down” after completing his transfer from League One rivals Bury.
The former Sheffield Wednesday and Wolverhampton Wanderers centre-forward, who could soon be joined at Bramall Lane by Wigan Athletic midfielder Sam Morsy, signed a three year contract with Chris Wilder’s side before featuring against Derby County last night.
Clarke, who won promotion from League One during his spell at Molineux, told The Star that repeating the feat with United would be a “special” moment.
“There are no guarantees but, if it did happen, it would probably be the best one to be honest,” he said. “The one at Wolves I really enjoyed because it was my hometown club and with a group of lads I knew well and really got along with. But here, because this club has been in this division for far too long, it would be pretty special.”
Clarke, aged 31, scored 18 goals in less than 40 appearances for David Flitcroft’s side last season and has joined United for an undisclosed sum. Wilder, who later refused to dismiss claims he is monitoring Morsy ahead of a possible loan move, resisted the temptation to get dragged into a war of words with Flitcroft after the Bury manager claimed United’s first two bids for Clarke were “comical.”
But Clarke said: “After they came in, we had a conversation about what the next steps would be and I expressed my desire to him (Flitcroft) that there was an opportunity to win promotion more with Sheffield United than there was with Bury. He understood where I was coming from, I didn’t drive anything, and we shook hands. It was an opportunity I just couldn’t turn down.”
“I’ve been involved in promotions before where I didn’t feel as if I contributed enough,” Clarke added. “But I’m a better player, more mature, and a different person now. Here I feel as if I’ve come at the right time.”
Clarke becomes United’s seventh close season signing and Wilder, speaking after the 1-0 defeat by County, admitted he is still looking to be active in the transfer market.
Morsy, previously of Chesterfield, is a possible option and despite refusing to identify individual targets, Wilder said: “There’s still a few areas I think we might be a little bit light in. We’ve got some good young players with ability in those positions with good futures but if there’s a chance to bring some experience in, that’s something we could possibly do. Especially if some of those who aren’t going to be involved go through the door.”