This article forms part of our Profit Players feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how well a player has fared since being signed or sold, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how good of a deal the club managed to achieve.
Back in March 2004, Sheffield Wednesday completed the signing of 19-year-old Chris Brunt. He initially joined the Owls on a short term loan deal from Middlesbrough and he certainly impressed, netting twice in six appearances. As a result, he was handed a two year contract by manager at the time Chris Turner and completed a free transfer to South Yorkshire (BBC Sport).
The club were in the Second Division (now known as League One) at the time and in Brunt’s first full campaign he helped the Owls soar into the play-offs having made 42 appearances overall, netting four goals and providing three assists (Transfermarkt).
Despite having been a regular, the Northern Irishman only played one minute of their play-off semi-final first leg against Brentford and was left out of the starting XI for the second leg too. However, he was brought on at half-time of the game at Griffin Park and made a telling contribution by finding the back of the net and helping take Wednesday to the Millennium Stadium.
He then went on to play the full 120 minutes against Hartlepool United in the final as the Yorkshire side won 4-2 after extra time to seal promotion to the Championship.
Brunt continued to be a key figure during the Owls’ first season back in the second tier and even knocked in seven goals in his 44 league appearances. That meant that he actually finished as their top goalscorer for the 2005/06 campaign as the club managed to avoid relegation.
His form then went from strength to strength in the following term and he managed a whopping 23 goal contributions, having bagged 11 for himself whilst also providing an impressive 12 assists.
It was after that season that he began to draw interest from other clubs and in August 2007 fellow Championship outfit West Brom swooped in and secured his services for £3.38m – which was all profit for Sheffield Wednesday having signed him on a free.
Overall the Owls bagged an absolute bargain with the 65-time Northern Ireland international. They paid no fee to get him yet he helped them win promotion from the third tier and in total managed 25 goals and 16 assists in 147 appearances for the club.
He went on to become an iconic player for the Baggies and he remained at the Hawthorns until very recently, leaving at the end of the 2019/20 campaign after 13 years in the West Midlands.
Owls fans, how good was Chris Brunt during his time at Hillsborough? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…
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