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.
In the middle of February 2012, Sheffield Wednesday acquired the services of wide man Michail Antonio on loan from Reading until the end of the season. At the time, the London-born ace had yet to really make his breakthrough in the game. It was well before he became the Premier League regular he is today and this was one of a number of loan spells he was sent on by the Royals.
It was a deal that immediately paid off from an Owls point of view, as in just 14 appearances for the club he scored five goals and provided two assists, helping them earn promotion from League One to the Championship.
His contribution was enough to convince Wednesday and their manager Dave Jones to bring him in on a permanent basis ahead of the 2012/13 campaign, with the club forking out £810,000 to get him. The ex-Wolves boss was delighted with the purchase, claiming that whilst Antonio was “nowhere near the finished article” he did have “a lot of talent,” (BBC Sport).
It is fair to say that he picked up where he had left off upon his return to Hillsborough and in his first full term with the club he managed to score seven times whilst also racking up 11 assists in 37 Championship appearances (Transfermarkt).
His form continued into the 13/14 season too, where he added a further four goals and six assists to his tally in 27 more league outings.
Unfortunately for the Owls, Antonio then became a little fed up at Hillsborough. Indeed, he claimed that he had become ” a bit too comfortable” in South Yorkshire and needed a new challenge.
As a result, he was sold to fellow second tier outfit Nottingham Forest, who paid £1.71 million to take him to the City Ground. That meant that Sheffield Wednesday made a profit of £900,000.
Looking back, it is fair to say that SWFC signed Antonio at exactly the right time. It was at Hillsborough where he really kick started his career and he helped the club win promotion back to the Championship and consolidate their position in the second tier.
Overall he played 84 games in the blue and white stripes, netting 17 goals and providing 19 assists, so he was certainly a success on the pitch which in turn meant that he was a success off it too, bringing in a healthy profit upon his departure.
Since leaving he has gone from strength to strength and he is now a regular in the top flight for West Ham United, where he recently made history by become the first Hammers player to score four goals in a Premier League away match.
Owls fans, how did you rate Antonio’s spell at Hillsborough? Let us know in the comments below…
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