Luton sign Blades defender on a free transfer

Martin Cranie in action for Huddersfield Town during their Premier League clash with Arsenal
Martin Cranie in action for Huddersfield Town during their Premier League clash with Arsenal

Luton have announced their second signing of the summer with versatile defender Martin Crainey agreeing to move to Kenilworth Road once his contract at Sheffield United expires at the end of the month.

The 32-year-old has vast experience of the Championship and Premier League, having made his top-flight debut for Southampton at 17 before playing for Portsmouth, Coventry, Barnsley, Huddersfield and Middlesbrough, as well as QPR and Charlton on loan.

A former England U21 international, the defender – who can play at full-back or centre-half – has won promotion twice in his career, with Huddersfield in 2016-17 and Sheffield United last season, when he featured 15 times as the Blades reached the Premier League.

Town boss Graeme Jones said of his new signing, who has played over 400 games: “The biggest thing with Martin is his Championship appearances.

“I feel that’s an area in which we gain more experience with him and Callum McManaman, who together have given us another 600 appearances in the Championship, so there is no mental step to take for them.

“Martin’s flexibility and adaptability is first class.

"I don’t want to put him in the category of utility player, because he doesn’t deserve that.

"He’s played games for Sheffield United and has just got promoted to the Premier League.

“He’s 32 and he trained every day last year, and with the research myself and Mick Harford have done, he’s an incredible character, which fits in with the great characters at the club because nobody is going to come to the football club and jeopardise that.

“Technically he can play. He started life as a midfield player, but he’s played anywhere across the back four or a back five.

"So he’s vastly experienced and very healthy professional to sign on a free transfer.

"I’m delighted to bring him to Luton.