Sheffield United defender Sam Graham has joined League Two club Rochdale on a permanent deal.
The Sheffield-born central defender spent four years with The Blades after graduating from the club’s academy, but he was unable to make a single first-team appearance.
The young centre-back played a vital role in the club’s title success at U23 level but has been deemed surplus to requirements within the first team.
Graham spent three months with Notts County in the National League last season, but he was restricted to just two starts for the fifth-tier outfit.
The 20-0year-old has also enjoyed loan spells out with Halifax Town and Central Coast Mariners, and he has also picked up EFL experience during a short stint with Oldham Athletic in 2018.
Despite his move being a free transfer, the newly-relegated Championship club have put several add ons to the deal.
Graham brings athleticism, power, and the ability to play out from the back to Rochdale, and the fact that he joins on a permanent deal is excellent for the League Two club.
The 20-year-old certainly has the potential to play at a higher level and will be hoping to impress in the fourth-tier and prove himself during this upcoming campaign.
With Gabriel Osho heading back to Luton Town, Rochdale have lost a central defender with power, pace, and technical ability, but Graham possesses all those attributes and he is a little younger.
It is a little surprising that The Blades have let him go this year. He has gained a lot of experience in the lower divisions and I expected him to have a chance on loan at League 2 level before a permanent transfer was considered.