Jamie Murphy's £1.7m move from Bramall Lane to Brighton splits Sheffield United fans

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 earned his stripes: UNITED FAVOURITE JAMIE MURPHY

earned his stripes: UNITED FAVOURITE JAMIE MURPHY

JAMIE MURPHY'S sudden £1.7million move to Brighton has split Sheffield United supporters into two distinct camps.

There are those who see the sale as a neon sign which screams 'lack of ambition'. The 25-year-old winger, who signed a two-year contract extension with United in January, is they say the latest example of a superior talent at Bramall Lane being sold off like the family silver.

Then there are those who view it as a profitable transaction for someone who clearly has lofty ambitions and isn't prepared to wait any longer on the off chance that United will eventually offer him a springboard.

As it stands, United are undoubtedly weakened by having sold arguably their most outstanding player, but the transfer kitty is substantially strengthened. Murphy scored 17 goals in 95 league appearances, a goal ratio of about one every 5.5 matches.

  TRUE BLUE:  TRAINING AT BRIGHTON

TRUE BLUE: TRAINING AT BRIGHTON

Given that United have already boosted their attacking options with the arrival of Billy Sharp and Conor Sammon, it could be argued that Murphy's transfer fee may be used to better effect to bolster a still troublesome defence and maybe help to buy a commanding force in central midfield.

There is of course a third view. The player's perspective which is more likely to present a true picture and one that football fans tend to overlook.

Murphy kicks a ball for a living and wants to play at the highest level, including establishing himself as a Scottish international. He was plying his trade in the third tier of English football and every unsuccessful year that passed diminished his chances.

Murphy, an initial £100,000 signing with possible add-ons by former Blades boss Danny Wilson, has spent two years winning admirers and adding value in the hope United would gain Championship status.

During his stay he played under four managers, all with different ideas and methods. None of it has worked but nevertheless Murphy was prepared to pledge his future to United early this year at a time when United were promotion contenders and knowing if all else failed he had admirers from above.

His contract renewal came with a caveat beneficial to player and club. Best case scenario for United was that Murphy would stay to help clinch promotion and beyond. If he didn't, however,  the length of contract was an insurance policy. It meant they could cash in and make a healthy profit, all of which we are now told will be used to strengthen the squad. Win, win. 

CHANGE OF ATTITUDE

For Murphy, he secured his future at a club which was expected to escape League One but wouldn't stand in his way if a big money offer arrived. Win, win. Championship Brighton eventually came calling with a pay rise and a whopping four-year deal.

There can be little doubt that failure to win promotion last season heralded a change of attitude for the player. Following his switch to East Sussex, he admitted: "I'm still not quite fully over the disappointment of last season. I thought we [United] were at least good enough to get to the [League One play-off] final. It's still disappointing but you've got to move on.

"You use all your disappointments to try to push you further in your career. Hopefully we [Brighton] can push higher and try to get into the [Championship] play-offs."

Of his international ambition, Murphy who has represented Scotland at Under-19 and Under-21 level, added: "If you play well enough it's always going to get talked about, so it's up to me. It's one of the big reasons I felt like making the move was a good thing. I want to try to get in my national team, I want to give everything I've got to try and do that."

With that in mind a parting of the ways was inevitable. Providing the money is spent wisely, both parties could be smiling at the end of the season.