When Barry Bannan announced that he was leaving Crystal Palace to join Sheffield Wednesday in 2015, not many would have predicted that he would still be making a considerable impact four years later.
Having experienced a frustrating two years with the Eagles in which he was only able to make sporadic appearances for the club in the Premier League, the Scotland international decided to make the switch to Hillsborough in order to increase his chances of first-team football.
By agreeing on an initial one-year deal with the Owls, Bannan became the 15th player to move to the Yorkshire-based outfit in that summer alone (via the Star) as Carlos Carvalhal launched a complete overhaul of his squad in the hope that he could guide them to promotion in his first season in charge.
After the midfielder confirmed that his move had been completed on Twitter, these Wednesday fans reacted excitedly to the news.
— jonny larder (@jonnylarder) August 31, 2015
— SWFC GIFS (@SWFCDebater) August 31, 2015
— Mick (@MickDonelan) August 31, 2015
— Paul Riley (@OwlPaul) August 31, 2015
— byron allen (@byronallenUK) August 31, 2015
@bazzabannan25 welcome to our club. The fans will be behind you every kick of the ball.
— Jackie (@Wild3J) August 31, 2015
Keen on making a good initial impression for his new side, Bannan adapted almost immediately to his new surroundings as he became a mainstay in Carvalhal’s starting eleven. An outstanding level of consistency saw him feature in 35 Championship games as the Owls secured a play-off berth at the end of the season. After helping the club overcome Brighton & Hove Albion, Bannan started the final against Hull City yet Wednesday were denied a return to the Premier League by Hull City who prevailed at Wembley Stadium.
The following year saw the 29-year-old excel once more, yet he was unable to inspire the Owls to promotion as they once again were defeated in the play-offs, losing on penalties to Huddersfield Town in the semi-finals of the competition.
A relatively poor campaign last year was plagued by injury problems which limited his involvement yet after returning to full fitness over the summer, Bannan has arguably produced his best football for the club over the past nine months. The midfielder has provided an impressive total of ten assists for his team-mates this season whilst also scoring two goals in a side which has been revitalised since Steve Bruce’s appointment in January.
Bannan’s latest performance was particularly special as he fired in an incredible strike from 30-yards out before expertly setting up Lucas Joao for Wednesday’s second in their victory over Bristol City last Monday.
Although it is very unlikely that the Owls will be able to secure a top-six finish in May, the future is certainly looking bright for the club under the tenure-ship of Bruce. With players such as Bannan, Fernando Forestieri and Adam Reach at their disposal, there is no reason why they cannot launch a sustained push for automatic promotion next season.
Wednesday fans, what were your thoughts when Bannan initially signed? Join the discussion by commenting below.
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