A glowing reference from Sheffield United players past and present convinced Febian Brandy to sign a two-year deal at Bramall Lane.
The former Manchester United trainee was one of four new signings unveiled by United on Tuesday, joining Stephen McGinn, Sean McGinty and Jasper Johns at Bramall Lane.
Brandy left United’s League One rivals, Walsall, after his contract expired, with ambitions of playing in the Championship.
But he was convinced to sign on for at least another year of football in English football’s third tier after speaking to United midfielder Kevin McDonald and former Blades striker Nick Blackman, now plying his trade at Reading.
“I knew Kevin from our time at Notts County together,” Brandy told this newspaper after being unveiled as a United player.
“And I’ve grown up with Nick, and I have spoken to them both almost daily since United first showed an interest in me.
“They had nothing but good things to say about the place, and now I can’t wait to get started.”
Brandy also revealed that, had fate not conspired against him, he could have been a United player long before he endured a difficult spell at Greek side Panetolikos.
“It was about three or four years ago now, when I was still at Manchester United” the pacy 24-year-old remembers.
“Swansea wanted to sign me, but my United contract was coming to an end and I had a few things lined up.
“One of them was a move to Sheffield United, but I broke a metatarsal in my foot in the very last minute of my last reserve game, against Wigan.
“That kept me out for about six months, so I was a free agent with a broken foot!
“They took some bone from my hip and put it in my foot, but that injury set me back a lot.
“I think last season at Walsall was my first proper pre-season in about three years, and I loved it - just being able to play football.
“Now, I am excited about the prospect of playing for Sheffield United.”
United boss David Weir, meanwhile, has outlined the qualities that persuaded him to swoop for his quintet of new arrivals.
“Febian is different,” Weir said.
“He has pace to burn, he is exciting and can unlock defences. He is a contrast to what we already have in the squad.
“It is important to have a bit of unexpectedness in your team and I think that Febian offers us that, he is always thinking about going forward and that is a strength.”
Weir also swooped for Scottish Under-21 international McGinn, former Tranmere Rovers loanee McGinty and Johns, from Everton.
“Stephen has a great pedigree - I think he will be a good addition for us,” Weir said.
“What really impressed me was that he was desperate to join us - he really wants to do well.
“Sean is one for the future. He may not feature straight away but has the potential to be the good player.
“It is similar with Jasper. We are signing him with one eye, initially, on the U21s.
“He has a fantastic left foot, has pace and certainly has a spark.”
* Bramall Lane, meanwhile, will host England’s U21 game against Scotland on August 13.
The game will be televised, and takes place the day before England’s senior international against Scotland.
United season ticket holders can claim a two for one deal on tickets.
“Sheffield has a great deal of football history, and it is only right that we take such an exciting fixture to Bramall Lane as part of the FA’s 150th anniversary celebrations,” Sir Trevor Brooking, the FA’s FA Director of Football Development, said.