Ched Evans
Evans scored seven goals for Chesterfield. Reuters

Sheffield United have re-signed Ched Evans from Chesterfield on a three-year contract in a deal believed to be worth around £500,000.

The former Manchester City youth starlet played for the Blades, who have secured promotion to the Championship in some style, between 2009 and 2012 before being sentenced to five years in prison after being found guilty of raping a woman.

The Welshman was released in 2014 and fought to clear his name, and succeeded in doing so following a re-trial in October last year. His attempt to restart his football career with Oldham Athletic in 2015 was stopped following widespread outrage, but Chesterfield saw fit to recruit him last summer. Evans scored seven goals in 29 appearances for Chesterfield, who were relegated to League Two.

Despite his unimpressive goal tally for the Spireites, Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder is delighted to see Evans return to Bramall Lane: "The signing is just one element of the plans we have drawn-up for next season," Wilder said. "We have done our homework on the player. We pride ourselves on team spirit – as the fans have seen this season – and plan to bring in players who can be part of that.

"Ched comes to us with targets to achieve along the way. With a full pre-season with us we believe he can provide us with options up front and score goals."

Evans also expressed his delight to return to Sheffield United and was keen to pay tribute to the club's fans and also to Chesterfield, who afforded him the opportunity to play football again.

"I am delighted to be back," Evans said. "I still feel I have plenty to prove in football both at club and international level and I believe I can achieve those goals at United, playing in front of the terrific fans whose support I have always appreciated.

"I am very grateful to Chesterfield, the board and football management for giving me an opportunity to return to the game. It is just disappointing that it has come in season which has seen the club suffer relegation. I would like to thank the Chesterfield fans who made me feel so welcome."