Chris Wilder finally gets his man as "warrior" former Sheffield United target signs for Middlesbrough

Chris Wilder has finally secured the signature of one of his long-running targets when he was at Sheffield United, after Darragh Lenihan officially sealed his long-awaited free-transfer switch to Middlesbrough.

Lenihan’s Blackburn Rovers contract expired this summer, with the Republic of Ireland international waiting to see who was appointed as the club’s new manager before deciding whether or not to commit his future to Ewood Park.

But with Rovers taking their time to appoint Tony Mowbray’s successor, Lenihan has decided to move on – and has been unveiled as a Boro player, on a four-year deal.

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Boro, armed with a likely windfall from the anticipated departure of Djed Spence this summer, will be strong candidates for promotion next season under Wilder – who made a number of unsuccessful approaches to sign Lenihan during his highly-successful time in charge of his boyhood club.

“I've been a huge admirer of Darragh for a long time, in terms of his qualities he brings as a player, as a person, as a competitor, as a warrior, and a leader of men,” Wilder, making his third signing in a week after capturing Ryan Giles and Liam Roberts, said.

“I'm putting a bit on him but I know he can handle it. He's a proper football player and I'm delighted.”

Morgan Gibbs-White of Sheffield United runs past Darragh Lenihan of Blackburn Rovers: Simon Bellis / Sportimage

Boro have also been linked, along with United, with signing Dwight Gayle on loan this summer, while Wilder may revisit another former target from his days in charge of the Blades in the shape of Liverpool defender Ben Davies, who spent last season on loan at Bramall Lane.