First summer signings confirmed…

Sheffield United’s summer transfer activity started in earnest today as Kevin Blackwell announced the signings of Greg Halford and Sun Jihai.

Halford, a highly rated utility man, signs on a year-long loan from Sunderland while Chinese international Sun Jihai arrives at Bramall Lane on a free-transfer from Manchester City. Both players are expected to add a dash of experience and versatitlity to Blackwell’s squad as they mount a challenge for the Premier League - Halford will meet his new team-mates for pre-season training tomorrow but Sun, who has signed a two-year deal, is currently away on international duty with China.

“I’ve known about Greg for a long-time,” said Blackwell. “When we found out that we could get him I had no hesitation - he’s a terrific athlete, gets up and down the pitch, is dangerous at set-plays and his long throws are a great weapon - all much needed attributes.

“Sheffield United is a big name and I didn’t have to sell the club to him. I see him as a crowd pleaser. Fans at the Lane expect certain things, like endeavour and enthusiasm and he has that. He did exceptionally well at Charlton last season and is desperate to play first-team football. Greg can play anywhere on the right and has the ability to play central midfield. We needed cover at right-back and he will push Del Geary.”

“Sun (Jihai) will be joining us next week - he is a player who can play anywhere down the right and at left-back, he also has the ability to sit in midfield. We are pretty young in certain areas, and I think the club will benefit with a bit of knowledge in tough situations and when under pressure. He’s been at Manchester City a few years and knows the English game”

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