Former Sheffield United striker hails "great signing" of Conor Hourihane as he posts emotional Aston Villa goodbye

Dean Windass, the former Sheffield United striker, has described the capture of Conor Hourihane as “a great signing” for the Blades after tipping his former club to arrest their poor start to the Championship season.

Friday, 3rd September 2021, 4:27 pm

Hourihane arrived in a season-long loan deal from Aston Villa on the day before the deadline slammed shut, with the Republic of Ireland international posting an emotional farewell to Villa Park on social media with his contract in the second city set to expire at the end of this current campaign.

The former Barnsley man is expected to make his Blades debut in their next game at home to Peterborough United after the international break, where the Blades will be looking for their first victory of the Championship season after relegation last season.

The Blades remained second bottom of the second-tier table after five games following their goalless draw with Luton Town last time out, but Windass – who played for United under Neil Warnock in 2003 – believes Hourihane’s arrival is good business by Slavisa Jokanović’s men

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“What a great signing that’ll be for Sheffield United, ” he said.

“Good experience, played in the Premier League, knows his way around a football pitch, good midfielder player, good passer, can get you a goal as well. Sheffield United need somebody like that now, you can’t just keep relying on Billy Sharp all the time.”

Windass, speaking to the Transfer Tavern, added: “Yeah they’ve struggled in the Championship at the start but I’m sure they’ll be alright in it.”

Hourihane was an unused substitute on Wednesday evening as Ireland were cruelly beaten in Portugal, with Cristiano Ronaldo’s late brace of headers turning the game around after Hourihane’s Blades teammate John Egan had headed the Irish into the lead.

Conor Hourihane is a Blade after signing on a season long loan: Simon Belliis/Sportimage

“My time as a [Villa] player has come to an end,” Hourihane posted on Instagram.

“An incredible four-and-a-half years at the club. Arriving mid table in the Championship and now the club going from strength to strength in the Premier League is something I’m proud to have been a part of.

“I gave everything for the club while I was there.”

"From our play off final defeat to our play off final win,” he added. “Our Carabao Cup loss to our final day great escape. It’s been an amazing journey.

“Special times and special memories that will stay with me forever. I wish the club nothing but the best moving forward and il be watching on now as a fan!”