Rodwell joins Sheffield United as Wilder has say on controversy around Sunderland Netflix documentary

The 28-year-old midfielder has completed a return to the Premier League with his new manager defending him after criticisms of his time at Sunderland

Sheffield United have completed the signing of free agent Jack Rodwell on a deal until the end of the season.

Rodwell had been training with the Blades, who have enjoyed a fine return to the Premier League.

Manager Chris Wilder confirmed in a news conference on Friday there would be an offer extended to the former England international, and the transfer was announced later the same day.

United made no mention of a longer-term agreement, although Wilder suggested there would be the option for the player to prolong his stay at Bramall Lane.

Rodwell has previously played for Everton, Manchester City, Sunderland and Blackburn Rovers and was close to joining Roma before eventually sealing a return to the Premier League.

The midfielder said of the move: “I’m absolutely buzzing, I’ve been training here last few weeks now. They seem like a great set of lads, staff seem brilliant so I’m really happy to get it finally over the line.

“That [training with Sheffield United before signing for the club] was the whole process, make sure it was a good fit, luckily the gaffer was positive and I found it a brilliant experience for me and I’m buzzing.”

Wilder, meanwhile, came to Rodwell’s defence as he met the media ahead of an FA Cup clash with AFC Fylde, with the 28-year-old unpopular with Sunderland fans after featuring sparingly on a lucrative contract.

A Netflix documentary portrayed Rodwell rejecting a mutual termination of his deal in 2018, before he left the Black Cats following their second consecutive relegation.

Wilder said: “I think there might be a club in the north-east whose supporters will chuck a load of stuff at Jack Rodwell.

“There’s two parts to that story, by the way. I’m not a lover of fly-on-the wall documentaries – they’re always looking for a villain.

“But from my point of view, that’s history. All the boxes that I needed to tick and Jack needed to tick, he has done.”

The Blades boss also commented on Ravel Morrison’s lack of football since he arrived on a short-term deal in the summer.

He added: “Ravel has been good for us, really, really good, I see him as a successful signing, people don’t see what he does in training and trust me he’s done well! He’s just been unlucky that John Lundstram and the other central midfielders have been in great form.”

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