Sheffield Wednesday are now looking set to just miss out on the play-offs, despite a remarkable turnaround in the second half of the season under Steve Bruce.
The Owls were relegation-threatened when former boss Jos Luhukay was relieved of his duties in December, but Bruce’s arrival in the new year instigated a dramatic turn of fortunes.
However, Wednesday’s top-six chances are now looking slim after dropping points against Stoke, Aston Villa, Norwich and Leeds in recent weeks.
But the Yorkshire club can look forward to next season with renewed optimism given Bruce’s impact, and the 58-year-old has now said he would like to extend the stay of one of Wednesday’s key loan signings.
Michael Hector joined the club on season-long loan from Chelsea in August and has been a consistent performer at Hillsborough this term.
He has registered 39 appearances for the Owls in this campaign, and he has formed a sturdy defensive partnership with fellow centre-back Tom Lees.
Bruce has now admitted he would love Hector as part of his plans for next season, but is cautious that it might not be possible to get a deal over the line.
Steve Bruce on Michael Hector: "We would love to bring Michael back. Of course I would. Whether it's possible. We have to speak to Chelsea and see what we can do." Hector still has another year left on his Chelsea contract. #SWFC
— Dom Howson (@domhowson) April 26, 2019
The 26-year-old has one year left to run on his Blues contract after joining the club from Reading for £4million in 2015.
Hector has been a massive part of Wednesday’s revival by heavily contributing to his side’s solid defensive resolve.
It seems unlikely he will be able to break into the Chelsea side next season, so it makes perfect sense for him to extend his stay in Yorkshire.
Wednesday are being touted for a serious promotion charge next season, but will only do so if by maintaining their strong defence.