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Ranking Africa's Premier League flops

By ESPN Staff

Warnock hails bargain striker Stead

Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock believes Jon Stead will prove to be 'the best value striker in the transfer window'.

Warnock today completed his second signing in three days with the capture of Stead from Sunderland for £750,000, with an extra £500,000 to be paid if the Blades remain in the Premiership.

Despite a pitiful goalscoring record of just 13 in 104 appearances since he left Huddersfield to join Blackburn in February 2004, Warnock firmly believes in a player he has long coveted.

'I know there will be critics, but value for money, his age, it's a great signing for me,' said Warnock.

'I've told him not to worry about expectations because he is not a £4million or £5million player.

'He's played in the Premiership, which is good, and had two spells in which he witnessed both sides of the coin.

'He had a poor goalscoring spell with Sunderland, but he had a fantastic time at Blackburn when he kept them up almost single-handed.

'In terms of work ethic, he is excellent. The fans will see someone who will give blood for the club, and I think they'll take to him.

'With something to prove, he can become the best value-for-money striker in the transfer window.'

After leaving Blackburn to join Sunderland in the summer of 2005, Stead managed just two goals in 40 appearances before moving to Derby in October on loan where three goals in 17 games have followed.

The 23-year-old knows in signing a three-and-a-half-year deal with United, it is another shot at the big time which he will relish.

'It's a fantastic move for me after coming out of the blue over the last couple of days,' said Stead.

'It's something I could only have dreamed of, but I'm now looking forward to the challenge after a very difficult time recently.

'There aren't many positives to come out of the last 18 months, but now is the time to put that to bed and look forward to what I hope will be a good career here, and hopefully I'll bring goals.

'But I'm under no illusions because I've had disappointing times in the Premiership, so I need to scratch them off the record and start performing again.

'After my loan spell at Derby and getting some games under my belt over the past few months, this move has come at the perfect time for me.'