They had to wait until their seventh signing, but Rotherham United have finally landed their No 1 target.
Greg Halford, the man of many positions, joined the Millers yesterday as boss Steve Evans builds towards their second season in the Championship.
And the manager, fresh from signing players of the calibre of Tom Thorpe, Danny Collins and Emmanuel Ledesma in the last few days, revealed that the 6ft 4in 30-year-old had long been the man he wanted most.
“The chairman (Tony Stewart) more than anyone will be aware that when I provided him with a list at the beginning of May of players we were targeting, Greg Halford quite simply was at the top of that list,” Evans said.
“There are a number of reasons behind that. Not only is he a talented footballer, he is a talented footballer in a vast number of positions.”
Halford, primarily a defender who has played in the Premier League with Reading, Sunderland and Wolves, left Nottingham Forest at the end of last season after three years, and his time at the City ground was fondly remembered by former Forest boss Billy Davies - a close friend of Evans.
Evans added: “Greg was nothing short of outstanding when he played as a main striker, when he led by example in helping Nottingham Forest to the play-offs when Billy Davies was in charge.
“I spoke to Billy, and he gave Greg a huge endorsement, not only for his ability to play as a striker, but equally playing in central midfield, either full-back position and, as many people will identify, playing at centre-back.
“Our squad is starting to take shape and I will continue to work diligently and efficiently to land our final targets. Again, as my chairman knows, these are the targets we identified as far back as May.”
Halford, who has spent the majority of his career in the Championship and once had a successful loan sell at Sheffield Unied, was on loan last season at Brighton and played against the Millers in the home side’s 1-0 win over the Seagulls at AESSEAL New York Stadium on Easter Monday.
Evans has already described 22-year-old Thorpe as a “younger Kari Arnason”, and the Rotherham boss again mentioned the former Millers Icelandic international with the long throw after the Halford deal was announced.
“One of the reasons we would miss Kari Arnason is for his height and strength,” he said. “If I am honest, Greg has the ability to surpass that.
“One of the other key reasons that Kari would have been missed is his ability at throw-ins and once again Greg’s ability surpasses that. This brings another strength to the team.
“Greg brings a fantastic aerial presence, he is a good finisher when chances arise, and his presence on the teamsheet will have the opposition guessing where we intend to play him.”