Former Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Sam Hutchinson has been linked with a surprise return to Hillsborough this week, with Sky Sports reporting that there has been talks between the two parties.
Hutchinson departed S6 in the summer following a six-year stint with the club, and subsequently joined Cypriot side Pafos.
It didn’t last too long for the 31-year-old out in the Mediterranean though, playing just five league games before leaving in late December.
Having been released under a different managerial regime last year, Wednesday look keen for Hutchinson to return to the club and for him to add some steel and aggression to the engine room, with Barry Bannan saying it would be a “good surprise” if the former Chelsea man returned.
But where would he fit in current caretaker boss Neil Thompson’s system? We take a look…
Quiz: The top 16 Sheffield Wednesday record player departures – Which club did they join though?
Alongside Barry Bannan in a 4-4-2
Thompson opted to go with a traditional 4-4-2 in what ended up being a narrow 1-0 win over Derby County a few weeks ago, with Joey Pelupessy playing alongside Barry Bannan.
Pelupessy hasn’t always been a regular for the Owls and has been the subject of criticism from fans over the last few years, but he’s part of a winning team right now and some say that shouldn’t be changed.
But he would no doubt be the most obvious casualty should Hutchinson return to Wednesday and slot straight into the starting line-up – balancing his tackling and aggression with Bannan’s playmaking skills is what the club may need to push forward.
Holding midfielder in a 4-3-3
Thompson has already shown himself to be tactically versatile having lined-up with a 3-5-2 against Middlesbrough, a 4-4-2 against Derby, and then a 4-3-3 against Exeter City in the FA Cup – although he wasn’t present at that game due to an isolation period.
You’d expect with the arrival of out-and-out winger Andre Green that this system may be the one that Thompson goes with, and if that’s the case then Hutchinson will more-than-likely be the midfielder that sits in front of the defence to give them protection.
It would also give Liam Shaw the opportunity to revert back to his midfield position having filled-in at centre-back the last few games and he could do worse than having Hutchinson as someone to learn from.