Manager Chris Wilder insists Ched Evans is only the start of a busy summer recruitment drive after the Chesterfield striker’s return to Sheffield United was officially confirmed yesterday.
The 28-year-old signed a three-year deal at Bramall Lane after a six-figure fee, thought to be in the region of £500,000, was agreed with officials at the relegated Spireites.
Evans first signed for United in 2009, in a £3 million deal from Manchester City, and scored 48 goals in 86 starts, including 35 in his final season. He left United in 2012 after being convicted of rape and served half of his five-year sentence in prison. His conviction was later overturned and he was found not guilty at a re-trial.
The 13-cap Welsh international, who described himself as “delighted” to be back at United, admits he still has plenty to prove “at club and international level”.
Wilder said: “The signing is just one element of the plans we have drawn up for next season. We have done our homework on the player. We pride ourselves on team spirit - as the fans have seen this season - and plan to bring in players who can be part of that.
“Ched comes to us with targets to achieve along the way. With a full pre-season with us, we believe he can provide us with options up front and score goals.”
Evans added: “I am delighted to be back. I still feel I have plenty to prove, both at club and international level and I believe I can achieve those goals at United, playing in front of the terrific fans whose support I have always appreciated.
“I am very grateful to Chesterfield ... for giving me an opportunity to return to the game. It is just disappointing that it has come in a season which has seen the club suffer relegation. I would like to thank the Chesterfield fans who made me feel so welcome.” More Evans: P37