David Weir has described the situation which allowed Kevin McDonald to leave Sheffield United earlier this season as “a ticking timebomb.”
The midfielder joined Wolverhampton Wanderers after only three games of the present campaign when officials at Molineux triggered a release clause in his contract.
McDonald comes face to face with his former employers for the first time since that controversial move when United visit the Black Country later today.
Weir, who looked set to hand the 24-year-old an influential role in his team, said: “He’s a good lad, a good player and obviously made the choice to leave this football club.
“Looking back, it was just awkward regarding the timing. We were always aware of the clause, knew it could be activated during the window and it was a ticking time bomb, in that respect.
“When it did happen, it was quite protracted and it left us a little bit bare in that area but we have replaced him now.
“Jose Baxter will be a great player for the club moving forward, it will just take a little time for him to settle in. But already we have seen what he can bring.”
United received £250,000 when McDonald informed Weir he wanted to depart and used that to help lure Baxter from Oldham Athletic to Bramall Lane.
Weir added: “I seen Wolves play a couple of times recently and Kevin is doing really well. We enjoyed having him here and he did a lot of good things, even in the brief time I was here.
“He chose to move on which was his choice but the timing for us was not great and we had to replace him.”