Tom Huddlestone has completed an emotional £2million return to Derby County, the club he made his professional debut for at the age of just 16.
The 30-year-old is a product of the Rams youth system, having initially linked up with them in 2002 three years after being released by Nottingham Forest. He made his debut the same year, and would go on to make a further 94 appearances for the first team in all competitions.
Huddlestone joined Tottenham Hotspur in 2005 for £2.5million, but had a loan spell at Wolverhampton Wanderers before returning to White Hart Lane to make his debut. During eight years in the capital he made over 200 appearances, and also collected four international caps for England.
The midfielder has spent the past four years at Hull City, playing over 160 times, but he couldn’t prevent their fall from the Premier League last season. This in turn triggered a clause allowing him to leave the club for £2million, something his first club have taken full advantage of.
“Once I got wind of serious interest from Derby, and the manager wanting me to bring me back here, it was a no brainer,” said Huddlestone. “When I left I was very young and it was a club like Tottenham. When I left I said I’d like to come back at some stage and thankfully I’ve had the chance.”
The arrival of Huddlestone will help Gary Rowett fill the void left by the departure of Will Hughes, who joined Watford earlier this summer. The Rams have also lost Tom Ince, to Huddersfield Town, but have been able to sign Andre Wisdom from Liverpool and Curtis Davies from Hull.