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Sheffield United: ‘He’s put football before finance,’ manager Chris Wilder says, following Leon Clarke’s contract decision

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder with leading goalscorer Leon Clarke
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder with leading goalscorer Leon Clarke
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Chris Wilder has praised Leon Clarke for putting football before finance following the centre-forward’s decision to sign a new contract with Sheffield United.

Clarke, who enters today’s game against Bolton Wanderers as the Championship’s leading goalscorer, put pen to paper on the agreement yesterday.

Although both parties stressed there was never any danger of the 32-year-old departing during next month’s transfer window, Wilder said: “I think it was important to get it done. I know what players in this division earn, especially strikers who put the ball in the back of the net like he does, so I know he could probably have been offered more elsewhere.

“But he’s happy, we’re happy and so everyone wanted to get this done.”

Clarke, who joined United from Bury 17 months ago, has hit the target 14 times in only 21 appearances so far this term.

“The last two teams we’ve played (Aston Villa and Sunderland), you’ve only got to see what some of their lads are on who aren’t performing like Leon,” Wilder added. “Leon warrants this, he deserves this and it was important we rewarded him. He can get even better too.”