KELVIN Etuhu will be the heartbeat of the Bury side as manager David Flitcroft plots a course for promotion to League One.
While the 26-year-old midfielder is not expected to be the pin-up boy – leaving Ryan Lowe, Daniel Nardiello and Nicky Adams to steal the headlines – Etuhu has been brought in to drive the side forward.
With almost 100 Premier League and Championship games under his belt at clubs including Manchester City, Cardiff, Portsmouth and Barnsley, Flitcroft admits pulling out all of the stops to tempt him to the JD Stadium.
And he expects the Manchester-born enforcer to be a lynchpin in the centre of his midfield.
“He doesn’t want any glory,” explained the Bury boss, who moved quickly once Barnsley released Etuhu following their relegation from the Championship.
“He’s a team man, a team player. He likes to enforce, he likes to dominate people and get in their space and he’s just what we needed.
“It was the heartbeat of the team that I was looking for – he’s a focal point.
“He is going to be the fulcrum of what we are trying to do because Kelvin brings massive experience and he’s the type of player I wanted.”
Both Flitcroft and Etuhu were at pains to stress that the he turned down better financial packages – from clubs in League One and League Two – to sign for Bury.
Money does not seem to be the driver behind the deal, it was the relationship between the manager and midfielder – who worked together at Rochdale and Barnsley – that convinced Etuhu to sign a two-year contract.
“I’ve known the manager for a long time and I had a conversation with him over the summer when he told me what his dream was, what his goal was and what he wanted to achieve for Bury Football Club,” said Etuhu.
“I believed in what he was doing and what he wants to do and I thought it could be the right move for me.
“I wouldn’t say he had to sell it to me as such because I’m confident in what he says.
“I have worked with him before and he does achieve what he says. So it didn’t take a lot for him to win me over, simply because of the relationship and the understanding we have.
“Had it not been for that then things would have probably been different.
“I had a lot of very good offers, but in football the majority of times it is best to go with your heart rather than look at what is the best offer financially.
“For this one, my heart was telling me this would be the right move for me in terms of moving forward.”