New signing Caolan Lavery chose Rotherham United as his loan destination ahead of a pack of other League One sides who were also chasing his signature.
The Sheffield United striker has agreed a deal with the play-off-chasing Millers until the end of May and could play a part in Saturday’s home clash with AFC Wimbledon.
Manager Paul Warne says the 25-year-old’s competitive nature makes him a perfect fit for his squad who are unbeaten in their last nine matches.
“He wanted to come here, even though he had loads of options from other clubs,” the boss said. “Centre-forwards are in high demand.
“He wants to play and score. He gives his all for the team, and that is pretty much the DNA of players that I want here.”
The Star understands that as many as seven third-tier teams were coveting the Canadian-born frontman who has a contract at Bramall Lane until the summer of 2019.
Rotherham are in sixth place in the table and Lavery would be available for the play-offs if the Millers maintain their lofty position.
The centre-forward is Warne’s third capture of the January transfer window, following the arrivals of targetman Michael Smith and central midfielder Matt Palmer on permanent deals.
Warne was keen to have an extra striker in place before preparations began for the Wimbledon encounter, and the manager has got his wish, with his players reporting back for training tomorrow after a long weekend off.
“I am really pleased that he chose us,” Warne said. “He knows that he is going to come in and compete with all the other strikers to get on the pitch. He knows a few of the players already, which is good. That will help him settle down really quickly.
“He is really good friends with Joe Mattock, He knows Joe Newell, Jon Taylor and Richie Towell. Those four lads are really good characters, so the fact that he is in a friendship group with them, and he is desperate to get out and play football, bodes well.”
Lavery began his career with Sheffield Wednesday before a cross-city switch to the Blades in August 2016.
He scored six goals in 34 Championship appearances for the Owls and has been on target four times in 30 league outings for Chris Wilder’s side.
Injury has restricted his contribution to the second-tier Blades this term to six games and one goal but he is now fully fit.
His presence at AESSEAL New York Stadium could pave the way for Jonson Clarke-Harris to rejoin former club Oldham Athletic, but Warne is under no pressure to let players go.
“Caolan plays for a club that play with a lot of energy. We are not dissimilar,” Warne said. “I look forward to working with him.”