Walton handed Blades chance
United take Plymouth midfidler on season-long loan
By Ben Collins. Last Updated: July 6, 2010 11:43am
Walton: Fresh start
Sheffield United have signed midfielder Simon Walton on a season-long loan from Plymouth.
The 22-year-old spent last season on loan with Crewe in League Two but Blades boss Kevin Blackwell is willing to give Walton another chance to prove himself in the Championship having worked with him during his time in charge at Leeds.
Walton made his first-team debut aged 16 after coming through Leeds' academy with future Tottenham and England winger Aaron Lennon.
But his career has stuttered since, with unsuccessful permanent moves to Charlton, QPR and Plymouth, and loan spells with Ipswich, Cardiff, Hull and Blackpool.
Plymouth, who were relegated to League One last season, have a recall clause in January if they receive an offer for the player, although United have an option to match any bid.
Walton can also provide cover in defence and becomes the fifth new arrival at Bramall Lane this summer following the signing of Daniel Bogdanovic, Leon Britton, Johnny Ertl and Steve Simonsen.
"I had him at Elland Road but he does seem to have lost his way a little bit," said Blackwell.
Next big thing
"He and Aaron Lennon were going to be the next big thing in English football and I've brought him here to try to help him catch up a bit.
"His arrival helps us put together a squad we can work with because he can play midfield or in defence.
"Last season we often got caught out when injuries occurred and we had to use far too many loans."
The Blades narrowly missed out on the Championship play-offs last season but new signing Bogdanovic believes he can help them get back into the Premier League next term.
"I'm a striker so goals are really important to me, but if we win promotion then I would be happy with five goals," he said.
"My aim is to play in the Premiership, which is why I came to this club."
The 30-year-old Malta international, who arrived on a free transfer last month after turning down a new deal at Barnsley, also insisted he would be pushing the likes of Richard Cresswell and Darius Henderson for a regular start up front.
"I came here to play football, not sit on the bench," he said.
"My job isn't done because I have signed for Sheffield United.
"I'm going to work hard to improve my game and show people that I can be an integral part of this club.
"We have a long season ahead of us and we need a big squad, so everyone is going to play their part and get the chance to have a say in the success of the team."