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Finding Footballers: Sheffield United 2006/07

The 2006/07 season saw Sheffield United’s return to the Premier League after a much anticipated 12-year wait. I take a look at where players of Neil Warnock’s squad are today.

The campaign eventually ended in relegation and is The Blades’ last in the top flight, but 06/07 saw many memories made. Victory over Arsenal with an outfield player in goal, a 3-0 thumping of relegation-rivals West Ham and a Jagielka thunderbolt against Middlesborough are just a few that will live fondly in memory.

Ten seasons on, where in the world are members of United’s Premier League squad?

Ahmed Fathy

Egyptian midfielder Fathy signed for The Blades from his native country in the January transfer window. The £700,000 man made his debut in a 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur but managed only two more appearances for The Blades as he failed to hold a regular spot. Fathy was sold by new boss Bryan Robson later in 2007 to Egyptian giants Al Ahly for £675,000 and enjoyed his stay in Cairo, racking up over 100 appearances. 2013 saw Fathy sign on loan for Championship club Hull City and made seven appearances in Hull’s promotion season to the Premier League. Fathy later played in the Qatar Stars League before signing for Al Ahly once more in 2015. While Fathy never capitalised on his chance in English football at Sheffield United nor Hull, today he is one of Egyptian football’s biggest stars. Boasting over 700,000 twitter followers, 111 caps for his national side and an African Cup of Nations, while Ahmed Fathy was never a hero in Sheffield; he might just be in Egypt.

Paul Ifill

English-born Ifill played a pivotal role in the 05/06 promotion campaign, making 39 appearances. In the Premier League, he fell out of favour and played just three times before moving to Crystal Palace in January. The Barbados international then moved to Australian A-League outfit Wellington Pheonix before moving to New Zealand after a successful period in Australia. He gained legendary status with over 100 appearances and entered Wellington Pheonix record books by becoming the clubs all-time leading goalscorer. Today, Ifill captains Stirling Sports Premiership expansion-team Tasman United in New Zealand.

Christian Nade

Warnock signed the French striker on a free deal after a lengthy spell at French club Troyes AC. Nade’s career at Bramall Lane was unsuccessful, finding the goal just four times in 27 games. Nevertheless, Nade will undoubtably be in many United followers hearts after his tidy finish past Jens Lehmann beat-off an Arsenal team boasting Robin Van Persie, Cesc Fabregas and Kolo Toure. After refusing a £500,000 deal to Hull City, Nade later signed for SPL outfit Hearts in the summer of 2007. His stay in the Scottish capital was again short of goals, scoring just eight in 83 league appearances. After his unsuccessful stay at Tynecastle resulted in being released, Nade played football in Cyprus and Thailand before signing for Dundee in 2014. The former France U21 representative has become a journeyman in Scotland and went on to play for Raith Rovers, Hamilton and Dumbarton after Dundee. He currently plays in the Scottish League One for Stranraer.

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