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Influential duo sign new contracts

10 June 2020

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Ahead of the Premier League restart, the Blades have been boosted by captain Billy Sharp and vice-captain Ollie Norwood signing new contracts.

The influential duo have committed their long-term futures to the Blades.

Sharp has signed a two-year deal, which now sees him contracted to his boyhood club until the summer of 2022, having amassed 93 goals in 197 appearances in all competitions since returning to S2 for a third spell in the summer of 2015.

The popular Sheffielder, who was subject of interest from a number of other clubs in the last transfer window, has placed on record on numerous occasions his desire to finish his career at the Lane.

This term, Sharp netted United's first goal of the season at Bournemouth on the opening day and went on to find the net a further three times, with those goals coming in three of the last four games before the suspension of football across the country in March.

Following official confirmation of the news, Sharp beamed: "This was a no brainer for me, personally. I've said previously about wanting to finish my career here and the talks were pretty simple.

"I want to be a part of this squad for the next two years and see what heights we can reach. The manager and the staff have pushed me to get fitter, stronger and have helped me become a better player. I was over the moon when the gaffer came to me and this feels like it is the best contract I've signed, but I've worked extremely hard on and off the pitch to earn the deal.

"I would have been looking over my shoulder going into my final year next season, but now I've got that bit of comfort which will enable me to keep working hard and contributing and I'm honestly really thankful to the gaffer who still sees me as having a role to play.

"We've done everything and more to be ready for the forthcoming restart, it's been an unprecedented time for everyone, but it's the same for all players and clubs and it's going to be down to us to ensure we finish the season as high as possible."

Meanwhile, cultured midfielder Norwood, who has clocked up over 70 appearances for United, since his arrival from Brighton and Hove Albion in August 2018, has put pen-to-paper after agreeing terms for the next three years, meaning the former Northern Ireland international is set to remain a Blade until the end of the 2022/23 campaign.

A contender for player of the year as in his first season with the club, Norwood has more than proved himself in the top-flight having won promotion from the Championship with Brighton and the Cottagers prior to moving to South Yorkshire and he has scored a goal in all three competitions this term, making 30 appearances across the board in the process.

On extending his stay until 2023, Norwood was understandably thrilled and commented: "There's been a deadly pandemic that's hit the country, so it's taken more time then we'd have all hoped, but I honestly wouldn't have felt comfortable signing at a time when the club was in a bit of unknown in terms of what it would be losing financially.

"Obviously, though, I'm delighted to commit my future to a club that has had the best of me, but there is so much more to come as I continue to mature and grow as a player, it's not as though I'm going to lose my pace!

"I'll always been grateful to Sheffield United for giving me the chance to establish myself as a Premier League player, but we're not settling for where we are now. We've all been written off in the past, but now we've made people sit up and take notice, we've proved people wrong for a long time now and that's the mentality of the group.

"We're now ready to finish the season off and who knows where it will take us. The lockdown came at a bad time for us as I thought we were just finding top gear. It's been terrible seeing so many people lose their lives, though, so we're conscience of the real world out there, but at the same time football returning is a bit of light at the end of a long tunnel."

Both continue to be key figures on and off the field, with the pair having shared the captain's armband during United's first season back in the top-flight.

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