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Wilder comes to Rodwell's defence as Sheffield United take a chance on ex-England international

Jack Rodwell has signed a short-term deal with the Blades.

Former Sunderland midfielder Jack Rodwell.
Former Sunderland midfielder Jack Rodwell.

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 today that there would be an offer extended to the former England international, and the transfer was later announced.

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.

Wilder 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 among Sunderland fans after featuring sparingly while on a lucrative contract.

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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.”

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