According to claims from reputed journalist Alan Nixon of The Sun, the future of striker Jordan Rhodes at Sheffield Wednesday is very much up in the air, with new Owls manager Garry Monk apparently unwilling to show any sort of confidence in the veteran’s abilities.
Rhodes, who spent the previous campaign on loan at Carrow Road and helped Norwich City secure automatic promotion to the Premier League, was linked with an exit from Hillsborough in the summer but Owls owner Dejphon Chansiri blocked a move, as per the same report.
However, the club hierarchy is likely to come under pressure to alter their stance on Rhodes when the transfer window reopens in January, with new boss Garry Monk completely freezing the 29-year-old out of the squad.
Rhodes has failed to make the matchday squads in each of Monk’s first three league games in charge and the manager even opted against using him as a starter in the 2-0 Carabao Cup defeat to Everton last week.
The Scottish international has only managed an unimpressive tally of 10 goals in 59 appearances for the Owls in all competitions till date, spending the last season on loan at Norwich City before being denied a loan move by his parent club this summer.
Sheffield Wednesday finished ten points adrift of the playoff positions the last term under Steve Bruce but the Owls have made a promising start to the ongoing campaign, with Monk taking over the reins from caretaker boss Lee Bullen.
With 5 wins from their first nine league outings, Wednesday currently sit 7th in the Championship standings, just a point adrift of Charlton Athletic in the final playoff spot.
It is still too early to make a call in a 46-game season but a top-six finish shouldn’t be beyond the reach of the Owls if they continue to rack up victories on a consistent basis.
As for Rhodes, the best possible solution for him would be a temporary move to some other club in the Championship in January, given that he is unlikely to get a look in from Monk.
Early signs suggest that the 29-year-old would continue to warm the bench for the remainder of the season and it is really a shame to see a striker with such a prolific record in the past not getting enough games under his belt.
Monk, though, is not entirely to blame for not favouring Rhodes, particularly due to the fact that Ashley Fletcher has done really well this season, while the likes of Atdhe Nuhiu, Fernando Forestieri, Sam Winnall and Adam Reach are all there in the ranks to provide cover and play alongside Fletcher.
The 29-year-old, who racked up a mammoth 85 goals in 169 appearances for Blackburn Rovers earlier in his career, has failed to replicate that kind of a strike rate at Middlesbrough and Sheffield Wednesday in recent years.
As a matter of fact, he hasn’t hit double figures in the Championship since netting 10 for Rovers back in the 2015-16 campaign.
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Suffice to say, there is a reason why he hasn’t been fancied by managers in the recent past and Rhodes, though still a capable enough striker at the Championship level, is in desperate need of a loan move to resurrect his career which has been in complete freefall over the past few years.
With that being said, a loan move away from Hillsborough in January would be a fair settlement as far as both parties are concerned.