Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YORK to 80360 or send an email»
Leeds United complete Michael Tonge signing
11:26am Friday 11th January 2013 in Sport
Leeds United have completed the permanent signing of midfielder Michael Tonge from Stoke for an undisclosed fee – and he is available for tomorrow’s Yorkshire derby at Barnsley.
The 29-year-old, who spent three months on loan at Elland Road at the end of last year, has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract.
Manager Neil Warnock, who was in charge of Tonge at Sheffield United, sees the experienced Mancunian as having a pivotal role to play during the second half of the season as Leeds look to mount a promotion challenge.
“Tongey showed what an important member of the squad he is,” Warnock said. “I’m delighted we’ve been able to agree things with Stoke to bring him here permanently.
“I think people saw Michael get better as time went on and you could see what he brought to the side.”
Tonge made 22 appearances for Leeds between September and December and scored five goals, including stunning strikes at Bristol City and Sheffield Wednesday.
He made more than 260 appearances for Sheffield United before a £2 million move to Stoke in 2008, but he struggled to establish himself at the Britannia Stadium and had loan spells at Preston (twice), Derby and Barnsley before teaming back up with Warnock at Elland Road.
Tonge said: “I’m delighted we’ve managed to get it (the move) sorted and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season now. I can settle, it’s a home for me now and I can try and kick on from here.
“Hopefully I can keep chipping in with goals. From a personal point of view, I just want to help the team. I think we have got a good squad and we are looking strong. We’ve got to fancy ourselves.”
He added of Warnock: “I think I’ve enjoyed my best football playing under him.”