Nigel Adkins had guided Sheffield United to an 11th placed finish when Chris Wilder took over the club in the summer after a promotion of his own.
Wilder took Northampton from League Two up as Champions before moving to Bramall Lane.
His first signing – Mark Duffy from Birmingham City on a free transfer.
— Sheffield United (@SUFC_tweets) June 1, 2016
A pre-contract was signing on June 1, 2016, with the deal becoming permanent when the transfer window opened on July 1 of that year.
It was a double sweep with Chris Hussey joining from Bury for a nominal fee.
Blades fans were initially pleased with the addition of Duffy after impressive spells with the Blues after stints with Burton Albion and Doncaster Rovers.
top signing getting Duffy through door.. know we had interest in him a while ago
— °pRaYiNgMaNtIs° (@SlavicPurpose77) June 2, 2016
good signings imo. Welcome Duffy and Hussey ⚔????⚪️
— Connor (@CR1889) June 1, 2016
— Kai Butler (@butlerkai11) June 2, 2016
Sheffield United would go on to win the League One title at a canter with Duffy playing 39 times in the league, scoring six goals in what looked like a phenomenal bit of business on a free after just one year with the club.
Duffy took that form into the Championship, making 36 appearances last year and scored three goals in what was a fleeting play-off push after being in and around the top six all campaign.
The two years at Bramall Lane turned the midfielder into a cult hero and a fans’ favourite.
His form has yet to subside, as so far this season he has scored twice in four matches with Wilder’s men sitting third in the division.
It looks like Sheffield United’s fans’ first thoughts on the signing were justified as Duffy has lived up to the hype and become a key player in their side over the last three seasons.