Released Mansfield Town centre half George Taft has made his loan move to Cambridge United a permanent one after signing a two-year contract.
The towering defender, 24, joined the Stags in May 2016 only to see his time with the club ruined by long-term injuries which saw him fall behind in the pecking order.
Stags fans only occasionally glimpsed what a good player he could be, but he was sent out on loan to Cambridge where he had been on loan at from previous club Burton Albion.
During the second half of last season, Taft struck up a solid partnership alongside Greg Taylor at the heart of the U’s defence.
He said: “I’m really happy that that the deal has been done.
“This is the fourth time I’ve joined and I can honestly say that every time I have come to Cambridge United I have enjoyed it.
“It’s brilliant to be here on a permanent basis this time round.
“As soon as I arrived on loan last year, I looked at my future options and felt this was a good fit.
“I came here with the intention of trying to earn a new contract, that was my goal and I’m delighted that I can continue to play here.
“The fact that I know the other players, the head coach and the fans too, that was very appealing and I’m really looking forward to getting back out there at the Abbey.”
Cambridge United head of football, Ben Strang added: “We’re really pleased to confirm the permanent signing of George.
“Across his spells at the club he has been a popular player, has demonstrated terrific character and arguably produced his best performances in a Cambridge shirt towards the end of last season, which gives us real encouragement moving forward.
“At 24 he has a nice blend of experience, yet with time to develop further. As a naturally left sided centre half he continues to provide good balance within our defensive options.”
Taft made just 11 starts, nine in the League, in his two seasons on Mansfield’s books plus four sub appearances and no goals.