Striker seals Championship contract
Sheffield Wednesday confirmed this week that striker Jordan Rhodes was one of the players released by the club at the end of the 2020-21 season and he has already managed to secure a move to a new club.
Rhodes featured 36 times for Wednesday in the Championship last season, scoring 7 times, but it wasn’t enough to help the club avoid relegation to League One. He however will remain in the second tier of English football next season as he has secured a 3-year contract with former club Huddersfield Town.
The Scotland striker signed for the Owls in 2017 following an initial loan spell and his time at Hillsborough has been the topic of much discussion. The move was made as a catalyst to clinch promotion in the 2016-17 season, but Rhodes only bagged 3 goals in 18 games for the Owls that season and opted not to take a penalty in the play-off semi-final shoot-out against Huddersfield that resulted in defeat.
The reported transfer fee of around £8M that the Owls paid to Middlesbrough, plus the fact that the striker was though to be one of the highest earners at the club as the wage bill rocketed above turnover, added to the feeling that Rhodes was never the tight fit nor the player that Wednesday needed at the time he was signed. The team was not short of attacking options when he joined and there were others areas of the squad that the outlay could perhaps have been better spent on.
His record of 18 goals in 101 league games for Wednesday suggests it was far from money well spent. Some supporters will say that in his 4 years at Hillsborough, the team never regularly played to his strengths but this is somewhat conjecture having played under numerous different managers and approaches and for the financial outlay committed, it may be argued that an experienced striker should be capable of adapting to different styles with more success.
The Owls had a much better record when Rhodes started games in the 2020-21 season than when he didn’t but if it was as simple as that then surely all of the managers that the club went through in the past season would have been able to see that and continue to pick him. At times Rhodes looked tired and off the pace as games wore on and he rarely completed a full 90 minutes, maybe the managers who worked with him on a daily basis didn’t feel he could be selected from the start week-in-week-out on this basis.
Whatever the case may be, few fans will look back on Rhodes’ time at S6 as a success and it is now up to manager Darren Moore to look to build a more balanced squad with many new faces needed this summer.