Gary Roberts: My Portsmouth team-mate Enda Stevens is suited to the Premier League with Sheffield United
Enda Stevens is back where he belongs – in the Premier League.
And Gary Roberts is convinced his former team-mate will thrive returning to the top flight he last inhabited with Aston Villa.
Since departing Fratton Park on a free transfer in the summer of 2017 following the League Two title triumph, Stevens’ career has continued to thrive.
Now an established Republic of Ireland international, his Sheffield United side earned promotion to the Premier League last season.
And Roberts is delighted for the one-time The News/Sports Mail Player of the Season.
He said: ‘What a two years Enda had at Pompey.
‘He was absolutely unbelievable, never missed a day’s training, fit as a fiddle, and what a player, what a relationship down the left with Kyle Bennett too.
‘I am still quite close to Enda and he is one of the best lads I’ve met in my career.
‘It’s fantastic to see him get promoted, now he is back where he belongs.
‘I think his ability and work-rate belong at the top level, he’s such a good player and obviously involved with the Republic of Ireland now.
‘He is as fast as anything, one of the fastest I have played with, so quick, strong, those big thick Irish legs are so powerful. Never misses a game, never misses training, never misses a night out!
‘I’m really looking forward to seeing how he gets on.
‘I’m made up that Enda’s partner’s had a baby as well, his life is going so well at the minute.’
Stevens made 99 appearances and scored once for Pompey after arriving from Villa in June 2015.
Yet upon the expiry of that two-year deal, the talented left-back switched to Bramall Lane on a free transfer.
Roberts added: ‘The manager (Paul Cook) wanted to give him a new deal and the club wanted to hold out a little bit.
‘But he would have signed if they would have given him one in January – and they could have made a lot of money out of him.
‘They never did, though, and he held out and moved on because there was a lot of interest. He deserved his move too.’