Sheffield United: This is the player Chris Wilder thinks will prove worth his weight in gold when the race for Premier League football really hots-up

Sheffield United defender Martin Cranie
Sheffield United defender Martin Cranie

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has predicted Martin Cranie's experience of winning promotion from the Championship will prove invaluable as his new club continues its pursuit of Premier League football.

Cranie, the former Middlesbrough defender, arrived at Bramall Lane earlier this month after leaving Teesside at the end of last term.

But it is the knowledge he gleaned during Huddersfield Town's play-off winning campaign two seasons ago which, Wilder believes, makes him such a shrewd acquisition.

"Every time I see the replays of that game, when Huddersfield went up, Martin is there in the thick of it," he said. "One of the things we wanted to do was improve the experience we've got here and he certainly does that.

"Martin knows what it takes to achieve at this level. He's done it and shown it before. You can't get enough of that and he's a top bloke as well. You know he brings the right attitude, approach and qualities to his work."

Although Cranie was arguably United's lowest key piece of business during the recent transfer window - his move, processed after the deadline, was overshadowed by the 4-1 victory over Aston Villa - Wilder is convinced it was soon be among the most celebrated.

Aged 31, he could make his debut alongside fellow new signing Marvin Johnson when United return to action following the international break against Bristol City on Saturday. Wilder's team are third in the table and travel to Ashton Gate chasing a fifth straight win in the league.

"One of the things that really pleased me was that, when Martin and Marvin came in on the first day, a load of lads like Leon (Clarke) went straight over to greet them," he said. "You could tell they were pleased to see them and afterwards I talked about what good lads I thought they were. All of them told me 'yes, they are.'

“And that's important because that team ethic is what we are all about here. That's what we want. and why it was great to see.”