Huddersfield Town and Jordan Rhodes shared a memorable period together earlier in the striker’s career, with the John Smith’s Stadium always likely to hold a place in the Scot’s heart.
Rhodes scored 87 goals across a three-year spell with the Terriers, lighting up League One as the club thrived for promotion into the Championship. After failed attempts, they cracked the play-offs in 2011/12, beating Sheffield United on penalties. In all competitions, Rhodes struck 40 goals.
After a goalscoring start to life as a Championship striker, Rhodes moved on to Blackburn Rovers. They were at the same level as Huddersfield, but with different ambitions to the Terriers as they searched for a Premier League promotion. Rhodes scored 83 goals across three-and-a-half seasons in the Championship, before Middlesbrough came knocking.
Promotion was achieved at the Riverside Stadium but Rhodes’ career has declined. He wasn’t as efficient with Middlesbrough and his career at Sheffield Wednesday hasn’t taken off like anyone would have expected.
Tonight, Rhodes could potentially feature for Wednesday against Huddersfield in the Championship, at a time when links are surfacing between the striker and a return to West Yorkshire.
Football League World reported earlier this month how Huddersfield were exploring the option of re-signing Rhodes, who will be a free agent in the summer when his contract at Hillsborough expires. It’s no secret that there’s been a desire to add fresh firepower to Carlos Corberan’s squad already this season and that’s going to be the case again in the summer.
As our graphic shows, though, if Rhodes was to return to Huddersfield he wouldn’t be returning as the prolific, confident marksmen he was over his three-year stint in the blue and white of the Terriers.
Rhodes has outperformed his expected goals this season for Sheffield Wednesday, but has scored only four times in 914 minutes of football for the struggling Owls. There have been important goals along the way like early February’s winner against AFC Bournemouth, but the simple fact remains, it is a goal around every 228 minutes of Championship football and Wednesday are battling to retain their status in the division.
Other aspects of Rhodes’ game leave a lot to be desired too: 53.3% of his 15 shots have been on target, whilst he averages under one touch per game in the penalty area (23 in 25 appearances). The 31-year-old has also failed to register an assist this season, whilst an expected assist total of 0.01 underlines how he’s hardly laying on chances for his teammates.
Rhodes’ game remains consistent both offensively and defensively in terms of duels, but a statistic cannot be provided for how Rhodes might match up to Corberan’s intense style of play. The Huddersfield boss admitted surprise at Fraizer Campbell’s ability to play so many games in a row at the level he does; he didn’t expect it and would be taking a gamble expecting Rhodes to match that.
Simply, since leaving Blackburn for Middlesbrough, taking Rhodes on has been an increasing gamble for any club. That would remain a sure thing at Huddersfield if they were to take the plunge and re-sign a former favourite in the summer.
The prolific striker that once stole the show in West Yorkshire is a shadow of his former self.