Jack Payne joined Bradford City in the summer surely hoping to help influence them in the same way he did with Blackburn Rovers.
He was an inspiration for Tony Mowbray’s side last season as they fought to a Championship promotion and although he wasn’t in the picture at Huddersfield, it certainly put his name out there.
The 24-year-old played 18 times for Rovers, scoring once, but came away with a growing reputation. Whether that was to lead to a Huddersfield chance, or even a move, it ensured he was on scout’s notepads up and down the country.
His summer switch to Bradford City was surely designed to further his chances at Huddersfield. He wasn’t cast aside by the Premier League side and back in League One he was surely expected to thrive.
Sadly, things haven’t turned out that way. Whilst Payne has looked to be a solid player for the Bantams, their relegation woes have meant he often plays in a side under intense pressure.
His teammates have not excelled and overall Bradford have looked weak. It’s hard to stand out in a side doing badly, even harder in one likely to be relegated. This weekend’s 0-0 draw with Plymouth didn’t help matters either, with the Bantams now boasting just one win in seven matches.
With Huddersfield likely to be relegated, the chance to stake a first team place there has never been greater. Had Payne been instrumental in keeping Bradford in League One, or even pushing them up towards a top ten finish, he might have been considered for a role with the Terriers.
Had they come down in the summer, he might also have been a player with a future there, such was his reputation after the Blackburn spell.
Sadly for him, he chose the wrong move at the wrong time and it could do exactly the opposite of what it was meant to do, leaving him back on loan in League One next season, or worse.