This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Sheffield Wednesday picked up an important three points in their bid for survival in the Championship, as they beat promotion-chasing Bournemouth on Tuesday evening.
The Owls took the lead through Callum Paterson in the first-half, as the striker capitalised on some poor defending from the hosts.
Junior Stanislas equalised from the penalty spot in the second-half, after Sam Hutchinson was adjudged to have fouled Cherries forward Sam Surridge.
Jordan Rhodes stepped off the substitutes bench to head home the winner for Sheffield Wednesday though, in what was his second goal of the season.
Rhodes has struggled for consistent game time in recent months with the Owls, but will be hoping that his latest goal can prove to be the turning point in his time with the club.
The 30-year-old is out-of-contract with Sheffield Wednesday in the summer though, and it’ll be interesting to see whether he’s offered a new deal anytime soon.
But does Rhodes have a future at Sheffield Wednesday after this goal against Bournemouth?
With him not going anywhere anytime soon with the January transfer window shut, I’d be very tempted to use him more.
I think it’s pretty inevitable though that he will depart in the summer with his current contract situation, but for now, i’d be using him.
He has a real knack of being in the right place at the right time, as he showed for his winner at the Vitality Stadium on Tuesday night.
He has a wealth of experience at this level, and whilst he may not be the player he once was, he has an instinctive goal-scoring side to him which you can’t say the same for many of the other strikers currently at the Owls.
For now, Wednesday should be keeping him firmly in the fold.
I think that Rhodes does still have a part to play at Wednesday as he’s now proven that he can be an effective player from the substitutes bench.
He had a decent cameo against Preston at the weekend where he made the ball stick up-front when the Owls just needed to hold on for the win, and he made the difference against Bournemouth last night with a cracking header.
Neil Thompson seems to be favouring a 3-4-1-2 system with Callum Paterson as his focal point, but could Rhodes play alongside him? I’m not sure. Neither of them are exactly rapid but Rhodes has always been a good penalty box player regardless of who he’s partnered with.
It does feel like Thompson has found what makes Rhodes click and he could have a major say in the Owls staying in the Championship.
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I do think he has a chance of having one now.
Given the impact he made from the bench at such a key moment against Bournemouth on Tuesday, it is hard not to see him getting more opportunities in the side over the coming months.
Indeed, it is clear that Wednesday were keen to add some attacking firepower to their side during the January window, so it makes sense to look to use Rhodes – who we all know has the pedigree to make a big impact in front of goal – to try and help fill that void.
That goal against Bournemouth was a big reminder of just what he can do, and if he can repeat that trick a few more times between now and the end of the season to potentially keep Wednesday up, there is no reason that could then turn this into a longer-term rejuvenation of his career at Hillsborough.