Sheffield United double promotion-winner set for Stoke City move after Alex Neil sales pitch
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Enda Stevens appears set for a switch to the Championship after his time at Sheffield United came to an end this summer. The 32-year-old, a veteran of two promotion-winning campaigns to the Premier League whilst at Bramall Lane, was released at the end of last month and was on the lookout for his next club.
Reports suggest that Stoke have won the race for his services after the Republic of Ireland international was assured by boss Alex Neil that he sees him challenging for a place in the Potters’ starting XI next season. At this stage of his career Stevens is keen to play regular first-team football and will be hoping to put his injury struggles last season behind him to hit the ground running at his new club.
Stevens spent six years at Bramall Lane and described the last 12 to 18 months as “the most frustrating time of my career”.
“I’m used to playing all the time and it’s the first time in my career that I’ve suffered a couple of niggling injuries,” he added. “Looking back, on more than one occasion, I let my heart rule over my head and probably tried rushing back too soon and as a consequence struggled to gain any momentum.
“Firstly, I’d like to thank Chris Wilder, Alan Knill and Paul Mitchell for giving me the opportunity to play for this great club. Chris and Knilly helped take my game to a new level. My teammates — you are the best group of men I’ve ever come across and I am so proud of what we achieved together. I will miss you all dearly.
“The people behind the scenes at Sheffield United are so exceptional. It’s been a privilege to get to know you all. From the kitmen to the kitchen staff, media team, and the gang at the stadium for matchdays. Thank you.
“And finally our incredible fans. I wish I could’ve said goodbye in person, but unfortunately I never got the opportunity. You have been incredible and given both myself and my family so many great memories from my time at the club. You are special supporters and Sheffield is a very special city.
“Thank you all so much and I wish everyone at the football club all the very best in the future.”