CHED Evans is set to bring his career round full circle and make a sensational return to Sheffield United.
According to multiple media outlets, the Blades have agreed terms with the striker after they struck a £500,000 deal with Chesterfield to secure his signature.
After leaving the club in 2012 following a rape conviction which has since been quashed, Evans is set to be given another chance to prove himself in the second tier.
But the question now is can the former Rhyl resident still make an impact in the SkyBet Championship?
A former Manchester City youth team product, Evans shot to fame after making a £3 million move to Bramall Lane in 2009, where he quickly became a fans’ favourite after netting 42 goals in 103 league appearances which included 35 in one season.
Plenty has transpired since the forward was a prominent figure in the United lineup, but it’s clear that they see something in him and had it not been for strong criticism from the likes of Jessica Ennis-Hill, they may have pulled the trigger on a deal sooner than this summer.
Although Evans has only scored seven times in 29 games for the Spireites this term, when you have been out of the game for so long it is only natural to have some in-game rust which has clearly been evident in his game since he returned to the professional ranks.
Manager Clive Wilder feels like he is worth the risk, and with a strong preseason under his belt playing with higher quality players, the striker is sure to see improvements in his overall game, while it will also be a huge benefit being in familiar surroundings.
At just 28, Evans is now in the prime of his career and any performances of note will be sure to catch the eye of national team manager Chris Coleman, who has previously stated that he would have to playing consistently at a high level to be considered for the Welsh side that are riding on the crest of a wave following their triumphant Euro 2016 campaign.
Getting into the Blades starting 11 will also be harder than it looks, with the League One champions scoring 89 goals in their 45 contests this season – an average of nearly two per game.
Adding Evans to the squad will be provide competition for the likes of talisman Billy Sharp, Leo Clarke and Harry Chapman, with his experience of playing both internationally and one level below the Premiership another bonus for the newly promoted outfit.
At half a million, it represents a low-risk, high-reward move from the United board, who are bound to be expecting another backlash from those opposing move, despite the rape conviction that robbed Evans of so much of his career being overturned.
Whether he can still make an impact in the highly competitive Championship with a side that are expected to struggle remains to be seen, but after going through what he has over the last five years, Evans is sure to give it his best shot and won’t be taking any of it for granted.