Stoke City defender Harry Souttar turned down offers from several rival League One clubs to rejoin Fleetwood Town on loan for the coming season.
The giant centre-half says he chose to return as he has unfinished business at Highbury.
A red card at Barnsley and a toe injury ended Souttar’s season three weeks early, having enjoyed a highly impressive stint after first joining Town at the end of January.
But despite featuring in only 11 games, the Scot soon established himself as a fans’ favourite.
And when Nathan Jones, his manager at Championship side Stoke, told him he would be allowed out on loan again this coming season, Souttar says Joey Barton’s League One club was the only destination for him.
Souttar is expected to make the first appearance of his second Fleetwood spell in tomorrow’s friendly away to League Two side Carlisle United.
Speaking to the club’s media team after signing yesterday, Souttar said: “I think you can tell from my face that I’m absolutely delighted.
“It was kind of on-off, on- off.
“I knew there was a possibility of coming back, and when I spoke to the manager at Stoke and he said I could go out on loan, there was only one place I wanted to come to. I’m delighted it is finally over the line.”
Asked why Fleetwood was his first choice, Souttar said: “I think it’s the whole ethos of the club.
“When I came here last year I found it is a club where everyone is together.
“It is a great group of lads and the football we played last year was great.
“I really enjoyed it and we got some good results.
“Missing games through suspension or injury towards the end of the season, I felt I had unfinished business.
“I wanted to give something back to the managing staff and the gaffer who had faith in me to bring me here.
“I’m delighted to be here and it is like I have not left.
“It was good to see the boys and I can’t wait to get started.”
Souttar started his career with Dundee United and has played eight times for Stoke in the Carabao Cup and Checkatrade Trophy.