Sheffield Wednesday manager Garry Monk has backed striker Jordan Rhodes to step up for the Owls when called upon this season.
Rhodes, who spent last season on loan at Norwich City helping the Canaries with promotion to the Premier League as Championship title winners, was linked with a permanent return to Carrow Road in the summer, before ultimately remaining with Wednesday.
Since his return to Yorkshire however, Rhodes has struggled to make an impact for Monk’s side, making just three substitute appearances in the league this season.
Despite that, Rhodes appears to have put himself back in the spotlight after scoring for the Owls Under 23s side earlier this week in a 1-1 draw with Burnley.
Should Garry Monk recall Jordan Rhodes to the Sheffield Wednesday side?
Following that contribution, Monk was asked in his pre-match press conference ahead of Wednesday’s clash with Swansea about the striker, with the Owls boss admitting that Rhodes is in contention for a place in the matchday squad, as The Star’s Sheffield Wednesday reporter Dom Howson quoting Monk as saying: “We have a competitive squad and it is difficult to select the 18.
“I have spoken with him a few times about what he needs to do. He is pushing hard and I know he will be ready when called upon.”
GM on Jordan Rhodes: "We have a competitive squad and it is difficult to select the 18.
"I have spoken with him a few times about what he needs to do. He is pushing hard and I know he will be ready when called upon." #SWFC
— Dom Howson (@domhowson) November 7, 2019
Rhodes has two years remaining on his current contract at Hillsborough, and has made 60 appearances in all competitions for the Owls, scoring ten goals, since joining from Middlesbrough in February 2017.
Following their 2-1 defeat at Rhodes’ former club Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, Wednesday go into their clash with Swansea seventh in the Championship standings, one point off the play-off places.
I think this is an encouraging sign for Rhodes.
It has been a difficult time for the Scotsman over the past few years, so the fact that Monk appears to be suggesting that he is not far off a place in the side is something he should see as a big opportunity to rejuvenate his career.
When you look at his past record for the likes of Huddersfield and Blackburn, there is no doubt that Rhodes still has the ability to make an impact at this level, so it is probably sensible for Monk not to completely write him off just yet.
Indeed, if it is Rhodes who is yet able to come back into the side to make a decisive contribution for Wednesday in the battle for promotion or the top six, then you imagine it would go some way to putting the struggles of the last few years to bed.