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Leonard deal completed

9 January 2018

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United's determined and lengthy pursuit of Ryan Leonard has finally paid off.

It can now be confirmed that the 25-year-old has penned a three-and-a-half year deal at Bramall Lane and joins from Southend United for an undisclosed fee.

Speaking upon his first incoming of the transfer window, Wilder remarked: "It is no secret that we have chased the signature of Ryan for some time. We wanted him in the summer but that was not possible so we have been patient, continued to monitor his progress and we are delighted that this has been completed early in this window.

"We want to add quality to our ranks and Ryan fits that criteria. There is quality available, including in League One, and we hope he will prove to be a great acquisition for us."

The Devon-born operator began his career on the books of Plymouth Argyle and made his league debut for the Pilgrims in the Championship against Blackpool at Home Park in March 2010.

In July 2011, Leonard swapped Devon for Essex, joining the Shrimpers on a free transfer.

At Roots Hall, where the midfielder became a fans' favourite, Leonard made in excess of 250 appearances in all competitions, scoring 27 goals in the process.

In November 2015, in a 2-2 draw at the Lane, Leonard caught the eye with a dominant performance and an excellent long-range goal, click here to see.

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