Richard Stearman, the latest signing to join Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United revolution, should thrive at Bramall Lane at “a club riding the crest of a wave”.
That’s the view of former Blades defender Neill Collins, who played alongside 29-year-old Stearman in 2009/10 as Wolves stormed to the Championship title.
Collins, now playing in Florida for Tampa Bay Rowdies, also made over 200 appearances in a five-year spell at United and believes the deal suits both parties as Wilder’s side prepare for the Championship after a six-season absence.
“Richard should prove a fantastic signing for the Blades,” Collins told The Star.
“He has a huge number of games in the Premier League and Championship and is the perfect age for a centre back. I think it was important for United to strengthen with a couple of proven Championship players to add to their young and hungry additions, and Stears fits the bill.
“He is quick and great on the ball but most importantly has a desire to defend and keep the ball out the net.”
Crucially for United, who switched to an attacking 3-5-2 formation last season on their way to the League One title, Stearman is versatile and can also fill in at right-back.
“He can fit in anywhere in a back three and is equally comfortable in a flat four,” Collins added.
“As good a signing as it is for the Blades it is also a great move for Stears.
“A chance to play for a huge club on the way up.
“He should thrive at Bramall Lane with the club riding a crest of a wave.
“Much has been made of the great team spirit last year and new signings always threaten to upset the apple cart, but Wilder has done his homework here as Stears is a model professional and a fantastic teammate.
“He will settle in very quickly with the lads there and, if anything, enhance the dressing room.
“This signing shows me a statement of intent from United.
“This could be a match made in heaven for club and player.”
Stearman was confirmed as Wilder’s fifth summer signing, after Ched Evans, Nathan Thomas, Enda Stevens and George Baldock, on Thursday. Wilder remains in the hunt for another centre-half ahead of the Championship season, which kicks off on August 5 at home to Brentford.
United face Stocksbridge Park Steels at Bracken Moor in their first pre-season friendly tomorrow afternoon (3pm). Fans can pay on the gate, with tickets priced at £8 for adults, £6 for seniors aged 60+ and U16s, and £2 for U10s.