Ben Davies asked Derby County to tear-up his contract at the iPro Stadium in order to hasten his arrival at Bramall Lane, writes James Shield.
The midfielder, who joined Nigel Clough’s side on loan last season, made the admission after completing a permanent transfer to the League One club yesterday.
Davies told The Star: “It’s dragged on a little bit for a few different reasons but I’m delighted to get everything sorted-out now. Once I got my deal terminated early it was full steam ahead.
“With Derby being in the (Championship) play-offs, everything took a little bit longer than usual because we had to wait and see what happened there.
“But I wanted to come here because I felt it was the time for new pastures. I’m coming down a division but, because of the size of this football club, I actually feel like I’m only taking a sideways step.”
Davies, who played under Clough at County before being reunited with the former England international in February, was a member of the team which won 12 of its 19 final fixtures in the league last season and reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup.
Together with Chris Porter, Davies is tied to United until next summer when his future will again be reviewed.
“This is a Championship club at the very least and so getting there has got to be our aim,” he said. “But nothing is easy in this business and you don’t get handed anything on a plate.
“We’ve got to go out there and earn that right.”
“I’ve played over a 100 games for the gaffer now and so, when I knew that he wanted me, it was only really a case of dotting the ‘i’s’ and crossing the ‘t’s’ from then on,” Davies added. “The momentum we got going last season was brilliant and it was great to be a part of that.
“If we can carry that on then we should be okay because the quality is here.
“One of the things he (Clough) is really big on is not wasting a single training session. You’ve got to make every moment count when you are a big club like this.
“That’s one area where I know we can improve and get even better. There were a few times last season when we didn’t really get going until the second-half of the match and we don’t want that to be the case now.
“We want to be right on the ball straight away but what happened earlier this year, with the way we finished, has really whetted everyone’s appetite and we can’t wait to get going and back to business again.
“That’s the feeling here.”