Sheffield United new boy Ricky Holmes says he was “surprised” Charlton let him leave.

The Blades signed Holmes, 30, on a two-and-a-half-year deal for an undisclosed fee, believed to be in the region of £400,000, yesterday.

Charlton’s lack of movement in the January transfer window has cast doubt over their promotion bid, despite currently occupying a top-six spot.

And when Sheffield United, who tried to snap up Holmes last year, came calling again, he couldn't turn down the opportunity to play Championship football.

He said: “Charlton showed their loyalty in me by giving me a new contract [last summer].

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“We were promised players and we were going to get into the Championship and I thought we would.

“They still might. They're in the play-offs and have a great team down there. It’s a small squad, they probably need a few more [players] in.

“I’m surprised they let anyone go out but I’m grateful for that.

“They haven't held me back and I get the chance to play in the Championship at the tender age of 30, and try to get this huge club back into the Premier League.”

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