John Fleck says the decision to join Sheffield United in the summer of 2016 was a gut feeling.
Fleck signed for the Blades on the same day as Jack O’Connell in a superb double piece of business by the club.
At the time United were playing in League One. Yet they would soon rise up the English football pyramid under new manager Chris Wilder.
Fleck’s first season at Bramall Lane ended in promotion. Two years later they repeated the feat to get out of the Championship and return to the Premier League for the first time in 12 years.
They have since taken the top flight by storm and currently sit in fifth position after 12 games. They have the second best defensive record in the division and the joint most clean sheets.
This success under Wilder has been built on consistency. Ten of the players who started the 1-1 draw at Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend were playing for the Blades in the second tier.
Fleck and O’Connell were among them. As was Chris Basham, who like the duo was also at United during their League One days.
So why did John Fleck pick Sheffield United?
It seems that once the option to move to Bramall Lane was presented, Fleck was never going to turn it down. Especially as four years prior the midfielder had missed the opportunity to make the same move.
“Sheffield United were always in my mind. I had the chance to go there when I left Rangers (in 2012) but the move fell through,” Fleck told the Daily Record.
“The first time I met the manager at the ground, I walked out on to the pitch, just me and my agent. And when I walked off, I had this feeling that I can’t really explain.
“I just knew in my gut that I wanted to sign there. So I decided straight away that it was the club for me and signed the next day.
“I just knew it was a big club, a stadium with a terrific atmosphere. And I knew they had good players having already played them.
“So I felt if it went in the right direction, who knows what could happen. It’s been unbelievable what’s happened since.”