In our latest instalment of the Flashback series, we take a look back at a certain moment and look at how things might have changed those initial reactions.
Sheffield Wednesday spent big in 2017 to lure Jordan Rhodes away from Middlesbrough, with the Hillsborough natives taking the striker on an initial loan deal that became permanent in the summer for £10million (BBC).
The Owls’ hefty swoop has never quite paid off for the Championship side, though, as Rhodes continues to falter in his quest to live up to the fee paid, which looks more and more like a wasted investment by the minute.
Rhodes had only scored six goals in 24 league games for Boro during his year on Teesside before ditching the Riverside Stadium for Hillsborough, having set the North East outfit back £9million in January 2016 when he moved on from Blackburn Rovers.
Upon reflection, Wednesday should have seen that as a sign not to part ways with vast sums for the Oldham-born attacker, but there was reason to be optimistic, as Rhodes had shone at Ewood Park with 84 goals in 169 games including three, 20-plus-goal league seasons (TransferMarkt).
It was not to be the case, however, and after scoring ten times in 55 outings for the Owls, Rhodes was again on the move last summer as he joined Norwich City on loan for the term, where he would hit nine goals in 40 games across all competitions.
Wednesday are now lumbered with a forward that cannot be relied on, and one that was not trusted by Lee Bullen during his temporary spell in charge following Steve Bruce’s departure, or by permanent head coach Garry Monk, who has only called on the 29-year-old twice since his appointment to the helm at Hillsborough (WhoScored).
Monk has also omitted the 14-cap former Scotland international from his matchday squad all but once since his arrival at the second-tier outfit in September, and will need a series of unfortunate events to change his thinking.
In his sole league outing under Monk, Rhodes was unable to affect proceedings from the bench against Hull City as the Tigers beat the Owls 1-0, with the 29-year-old lashing his only effort off target, taking just seven touches and misplacing 66% of his six passes (WhoScored).
His career is now in free-fall and is on course to offer Sheffield Wednesday no reason to extend his terms before they reach their natural end in June 2020, where Rhodes will be fortunate to land on his feet at a side competing at the right end of the second-tier table.
Allowing Rhodes to leave as a free agent would be a bitter pill to swallow for the Owls, having invested so much in the hope of seeing the Ipswich Town product fire them to promotion. But sport is a cut-throat business, and the £21,000 (Capology) handed over to the striker every week in wages could go a long way in finding someone the manager at least trusts to sit on the bench each game.
Sheffield Wednesday fans, how disappointed have you been in Rhodes since his arrival? Let us know in the comments below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more Sheffield Wednesday notifications!