Jack Payne may look back on his time at Huddersfield Town with a touch of regret after only making 28 appearances for this side across three seasons.
The highly-rated midfielder joined the club in the summer of 2016 from Southend United and would make all 28 of his appearances in a Town shirt over the 2016-2017 promotion-winning campaign.
Following Town’s promotion to the Premier League, however, Payne joined Oxford United on a season-long loan scoring seven goals and chipping in with 12 assists in 34 appearances in the first half of the campaign, including notching all four assists in the 4-1 demolition of Peterborough United.
After an impressive spell with Oxford, Town opted to recall the 25-year-old in January 2018 but was immediately loaned back out to League One Blackburn Rovers.
Payne’s spell with Rovers wasn’t as fruitful as his one at the Kassam Stadium only managing one goal in 18 appearances as Blackburn won promotion back to the Championship.
After returning to Huddersfield, it was announced in the summer of 2018 that Payne would join Bradford City on a season-long loan, scoring on his debut on the opening day of the season in the 1-0 win over Shrewsbury Town.
Despite the Bantams enduring a difficult first half to the 2018-2019 campaign, Payne was easily the sides standout player scoring eight goals before the turn of the calendar year.
These performances, unfortunately, wouldn’t last for Payne who managed just one goal between the turn of the year and the end of the season, as the Bantams slumped to relegation to League Two.
At the end of the 2018-2019, Payne found himself released by Huddersfield Town following the club’s relegation from the Premier League and linked up with now Huddersfield Town boss Danny Cowley at Lincoln City.
The 25-year-old featured in every game under Cowley before his departure for Huddersfield in September and played the whole 90 minutes as Lincoln dumped the Terriers out of the League Cup.
QUIZ: These players played for both Huddersfield Town and Leeds United – True or false?
Following Cowley’s decision to leave for Town, Lincoln opted to appoint former Oxford manager Michael Appleton, with Payne featuring in 12 of Appleton’s first 14 games in charge, scoring two goals.
Since January, the 25-year-old has struggled for a regular place in Appleton’s team and has only managed a mere four minutes in City’s last 11 games.
Lincoln did not express the length of Payne’s contract when he arrived in the summer, but it does seem should he continue to be out of favour at Sincil Bank under Appleton’s management.
Payne arguably joined Huddersfield at the wrong time, and despite playing a pivotal role in their promotion to the top-flight it was those two seasons in the Premier League that made Payne fall out of favour at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Some may suggest it’d been interesting to see how the 25-year-old faired under Danny Cowley at the John Smith’s Stadium, given his former boss’ clear admiration for him.
If and when the 2019-2020 season resumes, however, it will be interesting to see if Payne can break back into Lincoln’s squad, if not he could be looking for a sixth club in four years.