Sheffield United beat Charlton Athletic to the signature of Samir Carruthers, The Star can confirm.
Carruthers, the former MK Dons midfielder, became Chris Wilder’s first capture of this month’s transfer window when he agreed a three-and-a-half year contract with the League One leaders yesterday.
Karl Robinson, who managed Carruthers in Buckinghamshire, had been keen to resurrect their partnership after taking charge at The Valley nine weeks ago.
But United beat Charlton to the punch after the midfielder expressed a “strong desire” to progress his career at Bramall Lane.
“Samir was really positive about coming here,” Wilder said. “And that’s something which is really important for me and everybody else here at our football club too. He wanted to come for all the right reasons, because of football, and be a part of what we are trying to achieve. That attitude, that strong desire, is something all of the lads here and who we’ve brought in have got. It’s vitally important and Samir, who told us how impressed he’s always been by Bramall Lane and how excited he was at the prospect of playing here regularly, has shown he has got too.”
Carruthers, aged 23, joined Dons from Aston Villa in August 2014 and was a member of the squad which gained promotion to the Championship later that season. Although his contract with Dons was scheduled to expire at the end of the season, Wilder explained why it “made sense” to push through a move for Carruthers now rather than wait until the summer.
“We could have left it until then, put ourselves in the mix and tried to get Samir on a free, but then there’s always that risk a spanner might end up in the works,” Wilder said. “He wanted to come, we wanted him and so it made sense to do it now. It’s good business.”
Although the fee United paid to acquire Carruthers’ services is officially undisclosed, sources at Stadium MK report it is somewhere in the region of £250,000 to £300,000.
Wilder, who also hopes to recruit Manchester United youngster Joe Riley on loan, recently outlined plans to make “two or three” additions before January 31st’s transfer deadline. Talks with Wolverhampton Wanderers and Burnley aimed at resolving the futures of Ethan Ebanks-Landell and Daniel Lafferty. Despite failing to officially confirm whether or not they will be recalled, both of the duo’s parent clubs are thought to be broadly in favour of allowing them to complete their respective season-long agreements with United.
Carruthers could make his United debut at Southend on Saturday and Wilder said: “We feel we can get even more out of Samir who, already, is a quality player. He ticks all the boxes for us; age, ability and attitude. Personally I also think this is good for him, it’s the right move at the right time for Samir. He’s someone we think can grow with the football club.”