Considering what he did during his time at the club, it was no surprise to see many of those of a Blackburn Rovers persuasion filled with an overwhelming sense of disappointment and concern when Jordan Rhodes left Ewood Park in February 2016.
Having joined Rovers for a club-record £8million fee from Huddersfield Town in the summer of 2012 -immediately after the club’s relegation from the Premier League – Rhodes would certainly do his best to repay that investment during his time at the club.
In total, the Scotsman would score 85 goals in 169 appearances, and was named the club’s player of the year during his debut campaign for the club.
Yet in spite of the efforts of Rhodes’, Blackburn struggled to make progress towards a return to the Premier League, something which clearly hadn’t escaped the thoughts of the Scotsman, particularly with the attention the player himself was receiving.
After Rhodes expressed his unhappiness at being denied a move to Middlesbrough in the summer of 2015, Rovers would be forced to give in the following winter, with the striker sealing a move to the Riverside Stadium in February 2016, for a fee reported to be worth around £9million, following a late resurrection of the deal in the final hours of the transfer window.
But while that switch to Middlesbrough would bring Rhodes the promotion to English football’s top-flight that he so dearly wanted within months of the move – with the Scot himself scoring six times to help seal that success – things since then simply haven’t worked out for the striker.
The step up to the Premier League was one that Rhodes never really got to grips with, and after just six appearances and no goals in the top flight for ‘Boro, he was sent back to the Championship almost a year to the day after making the move to the north-east, joining Sheffield Wednesday on-loan with an obligation to buy for the rest of the season at the end of the January transfer window in 2017.
Rhodes would net just three goals in 20 appearances in all for the Owls during that loan spell, ironically losing out to eventual promotion winners Huddersfield Town – the club he originally joined Blackburn from – at the semi-final stage of the Championship play-offs, before his switch to Hillsborough from a Middlesbrough side that had been relegated from the Premier League after just a single season became permanent for a fee reported to be worth £10million.
Should Blackburn consider trying to bring Jordan Rhodes back to Ewood Park in January?
That is a fee that Sheffield Wednesday may be regretting paying. Indeed, Rhodes’ return of just five goals in 31 league games as the Owls slumped to 15th in the Championship standings during his first full campaign as a permanent Wednesday player was not enough to secure his place at the club, and he once again found himself on the temporary move in the summer of 2018.
This time, his destination was Norwich, with Rhodes joining the Canaries on loan for the 2018/19 campaign.
It would be a strange experience for Rhodes, who despite struggling in front of goal again – scoring just six times in 36 league appearances – was part of a side that, against all expectations, would storm to the Championship title to earn themselves a promotion to the Premier League.
Given that step up that Norwich were making with their return to the top flight, and Rhodes’ record both at Carrow Road and previously in the top tier of English football, it was slightly surprising to see Daniel Farke’s side credited with an interest in a permanent move for the striker earlier this summer.
While that move ultimately failed to happen, Rhodes may now wish that it had, given what has happened since his return to Wednesday for the start of the new campaign.
So far this season, Rhodes has made just four appearances in the league for the Owls, all of which have come from the bench, and in what is perhaps a sign of how far down the pecking order he currently is at Wednesday.
The striker recently found himself playing for the club’s under 23s side where – much to delight of those Rovers fans who used to sing his name week in week out – Rhodes would find the net against Blackburn’s old rivals Burnley, just as he had done on three occasions while wearing the famous blue and white halved shirts of his former team.
With Rhodes finding himself in such a position at Wednesday, and the January transfer window slowly starting to move into view, that recent record of the striker may once again come into focus, and it would likely be little surprise to see the possibility of a move away from Hillsborough for the 29-year-old come up in conversation, as he looks to finally kick start his career, and Wednesday, look to get some of their money back.
Funnily enough, one team who feel like they could do with an extra attacking outlet right now, are Blackburn Rovers.