Dundee United have today re-signed Irish midfielder Willo Flood on a two-year deal. We had mentioned that Flood was near to a move back to Tannadice on Friday, despite United Chairman Steven Thompson denying a move for the midfielder.
The 26-year-old played over 50 games for United between 2007 and 2009, before making the move to SPL rivals Celtic. However he failed to break in the Celtic First Team and made the move to Middlesborough in January 2010, along with Barry Robson and Chris Killen.
However his time on Teeside was severely hit by serious injuries and despite impressing early on and being a regular under former Celtic manager Gordon Strachan, his season was ended with a serious knee ligament injury suffered during a game against Cardiff City just three months after making the move to England. And despite getting back to full fitness over the summer, he dislocated his knee in a collision with Ipswich Town’s Matthew Bates in the first game of the following season.
He returned to fitness in April, but Tony Mowbray – the man who sold him to Boro from Celtic – informed the player that his contract which ran out at the end of the season, would not be renewed.
Mowbray said of his former charge: “Willo has been unfortunate in that he hasn’t really had a chance to impress while I’ve been here. He has been very unlucky with injuries and his contract has come to an end just when we are looking to reduce costs.
“I’m aware that Willo started very well when he came here and I can see exactly what assets he brings to the team. But I’m looking to put my own stamp on the team and I need to create space in the squad to enable me to bring in my own players.”
Dundee United manager Peter Houston said on the re-signing of Flood: “I am thoroughly delighted to have secured Willo. We know all about his qualities from his previous spell here and as I look to add experience to the team, I see him as an excellent and important addition. We knew we had to add experience to the squad and with this acquisition; we have again ticked all the boxes I was looking for in a new signing. “
“It says everything about Willo that he has chosen to come to Dundee United. He had more lucrative offers available but not only has he enjoyed his football here previously, he sees Tannadice as a place where he can enhance his career. He also has the opportunity to experience European football next season and that is something not all clubs could have offered him.
“This signing is very much a coup for the Club and I know the fans will be excited at the prospect of seeing Willo in a United shirt once more. His tenacious style is perfectly suited to the SPL and the fact that it is here at Dundee United where he will play his football for at least the next two seasons is outstanding news for the Club and its supporters.”
And it is a view echoed by ArabTRUST Spokesman Christopher Bennison:
“There had been rumours for weeks that Willo was coming into Tannadice for talks, but equally as many rumours saying that Aberdeen and Hearts were also interested alongside some English Championship clubs.
“But Willo and his family are well-known to have loved their time during his first spell with United and it’s no surprise that he’s chosen to come back.
“Arabs are tweeting, forum posting and Facebooking like mad about this, I’ve not heard from any United fan that’s anything other than delighted! We got to see the best football of his career and we are looking forward to seeing it again this time around.
“He was astonishing in the 2008 CIS Final against Glasgow Rangers. Although we lost, that’s the Flood performance that most remember – the wee man is a workhorse.
“We know that Willo still has performances like that in him and he’ll be a major figure in United’s Europa campaign.
“Many Arabs were worried when Buaben, Conway, David Robertson and Gomis left the club, but I think I can speak for a great many when I say that with Johnny Russell breaking through, the quality of our established first teamers, youths like Stuart Armstrong, John Rankin being signed last week and now Willo – we’re looking forward to the next season.”