Nigel Clough has outlined the qualities which persuaded him to sign Chris Basham and Andy Butler after the duo joined Sheffield United, writes James Shield.
Clough, the United manager, revealed “a number of Championship clubs” were also chasing his latest acquisitions when it became clear they were leaving Blackpool and Walsall respectively.
Basham, who was presented to the media at Bramall Lane yesterday, has agreed a three year contract and Clough said: “We’re very pleased to get them because they’re both very experienced.
“There was a lot of interest in Chris from a division above and he’s a very consistent and talented footballer.
“He can fill a variety of different roles but we will look to pin him down to one position and only use him elsewhere in an emergency. We’ll see where that is during pre-season and depending on the outcome of other bits of business we are looking to do.
“But Chris will be in our eleven somewhere. He’ll definitely get in the team.”
Butler, who at 30 is five years Basham’s senior, captained Walsall for the past three seasons. Previously of Huddersfield Town and Scunthorpe, he is scheduled to remain in South Yorkshire until 2016.
“There won’t be any bedding in period for Andy,” Clough said. “He could also have had a shout at Championship level but he knows that we are going to try and have a real go (at promotion) when things get back underway.”
Basham, who started his career at Newcastle before commanding a £1.2m transfer fee when he moved to Bloomfield Road via Bolton Wanderers, made 94 appearances for Blackpool where he was predominately deployed in midfield.
Butler, who will be formally unveiled next week, was a member of the Walsall team which secured four points from their two League One meetings with United last term.
“The name of Sheffield United was definitely a factor in getting both of these lads,” Clough said. “It’s a big draw because of the stature and that definitely helps in situations like this.”