Southend United v Sheffield United: Samir Carruthers aims to rekindle ambition with the Blades

Samir Carruthers has big ambitions after joining Sheffield United from MK Dons.
Samir Carruthers has big ambitions after joining Sheffield United from MK Dons.
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For a player educated in the Premier League at Arsenal and Aston Villa, it is understandable that Samir Carruthers has a yearning to return to the big stage.

This is what sold him on a move to Sheffield United, explained the 23-year-old after arriving from MK Dons this week for an undisclosed fee.

His ambitions do not end with finishing the job at League One leaders United and reaching the Championship. Carruthers has loftier targets in mind.

Having found his path to first-team football at Arsenal blocked by the likes of Jack Wilshere, Carruthers joined Villa in 2010 and his first taste of Premier League football came against Liverpool and Manchester United.

Up against the likes of Steven Gerrard and Paul Scholes, the then 19-year-old was certainly thrown in at the deep end.

He went on to become an integral player at MK Dons, helping them to promotion to the Championship before subsequent relegation, but he jumped at the chance to join the Blades.

“I chose to leave Arsenal because I thought my career would benefit more at Villa,” said Carruthers.

“I saw the players ahead of me and I had to be realistic, when people like Jack Wilshere were there.

“I understand these are the most important years coming up. The move, from a very comfortable environment because I’m from near MK, to up here was difficult in one sense, but easy in another because I’m coming to a huge club.

“I was quite surprised they wanted me after starting so well. I really am not bothered where I play, so long as I’m on the pitch.

“I’ve played in the middle or as a ‘No 10’. Then, when the new manager at MK came in, he preferred me being a little bit further out wide.

“I don’t just want to get promoted here this season. I want to do that and then push on.

“I know how tough the Championship can be, I know what it takes and so, hopefully, if we do go up then I’ll have that little bit of experience I didn’t have last season.”

The Blades head to Southend United today, looking to make it six successive wins and extend the gap over second-placed Bolton Wanderers to six points. Southend have not lost in the league since October 8, a 13-game sequence.

Carruthers will be hoping to make a better impression than he did on his first day’s training with his new team-mates.

“I didn’t get off to a great start because I put my shorts on back to front,” he smiled.

“They were the wrong way round. All of the lads were laughing and I thought, ‘Oh no, I’m never going to live this down’. Mind you, there are a few things that I won’t ever live down.”

Despite the arrival of Carruthers, United are keen to avoid any departures in the January window.

There have been a few tentative enquiries about out-of-favour goalkeeper George Long, but manager Chris Wilder is keen to maintain his current squad.

He said: “I don’t want anybody to go. We are early in January, but I am not expecting any bids in.

“We will do our best to decline any offers that come our way.

“It’s important, we have worked very hard off the pitch to get this team together, in terms of mentality and team spirit, and on the pitch we have worked really hard to get into this position.

“I don’t want anything to change, if I am honest.”

Last six games: Southend United DWWWDD Sheffield United LWWWWW.

Referee: A Davies (Hampshire).

Last time: Southend United 3 Sheffield United 1; March 30, 2016, League One.