Sheffield Wednesday fans saw a familiar face return to the club last month as a man who bleeds blue and white re-joined the Owls.
After being let go by the club in the summer, Sam Hutchinson made his triumphant return in the January transfer window, not long after finishing a short stint at Cypriot club Pafos.
With Wednesday in a relegation battle, the experience and nous of someone like Hutchinson seemed to be missing from the squad during Tony Pulis’ brief run as manager.
But caretaker boss Neil Thompson has spotted a void that has needed to be filled, and just six months after departing Hillsborough, Hutchinson returned on a deal until the end of the season on January 25.
And despite his first game back against Coventry being a defeat, his influence since can’t be underestimated.
Thompson started Hutchinson right away in the engine room, but against Preston he put the 31-year-old in the middle of a back three, and that decision has garnered two wins in a row against the Lilywhites and away at Bournemouth.
And Wednesday’s interim boss has been speaking on how well Hutchinson has done since returning and the need to keep a watchful eye on him due to his obvious fitness issues over the years.
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“He has done terrific,” Thompson told the media, per YorkshireLive.
“We have got to look after him. We know where he’s at physically. He has come in and shown his experience.
“He’s a good player and he seems to be enjoying it. We will monitor him as we go through.”
It’s a miracle that Hutchinson is even playing due to the knee injuries he suffered earlier in his career, but to be thrown straight in at the deep end for Wednesday this season you have to admire his character.
Hutchinson gives his all for the shirt and it was no surprise to see Wednesday pick up massive wins against Preston and Bournemouth with his influence in the line-up.
He’s a player that the Owls missed tremendously in the first half of the season and if Garry Monk hadn’t banished him from the squad a long while before his departure, then who knows where Wednesday might be in the table now…