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Opinion: The time has come for Sheffield Wednesday’s five-year mainstay to move onto a fresh challenge



Sheffield Wednesday are a club gearing up for change.

That looks increasingly likely to come in terms of relegation into League One and will definitely come in terms of an overhaul of the playing squad at Hillsborough.

A number of first-team players are out of contract heading into the summer, and it is Football League World’s understanding that Adam Reach and Jordan Rhodes will be two players certainly heading for the exit door.

The club are resigned to losing the duo and, when the time comes for them to depart, it will be interesting to filter through the reaction of supporters.

Despite seven goals this season, Rhodes has struggled to ever be consistent at Hillsborough, but the same cannot be said for Reach.

The 28-year-old signed for Wednesday from Middlesbrough in 2016 with a similar remit to Rhodes, with the club desperate to convert a squad that was nearly there into a Premier League outfit.

In total, Reach has made 227 appearances for Wednesday during his time with the club, scoring 24 goals across all competitions.

At the time when Wednesday were looking to recover from the decline after Carlos Carvalhal’s back-to-back top-six finishes, Reach was electric for the Owls and registered 15 goal involvements in both 2017/18 and 2018/19.

The 2018/19 campaign was particularly standout due to long-range strikes against Leeds United and West Bromwich Albion.

It would be fair to say that, since then, Reach has been inconsistent, which has mirrored Wednesday’s performance on the whole.

Garry Monk had Wednesday dreaming of an automatic promotion push after a strong start to 2019/20, but the Owls fell away dramatically later in the campaign and have been declining since.

That leads us to now, with Wednesday preparing an overhaul.

When you look at the cold hard numbers of Reach’s spell at Hillsborough, you would be forgiven for thinking that keeping the versatile ace would make sense, but it’s worth considering the inconsistency he has contributed to.

Last week, former Wednesday player, Carlton Palmer, exclusively told Football League World: “Adam Reach is a good player from what I’ve seen, but what I’ve seen is too inconsistent.

“They are in the bottom three and, I’ve said this for years, but they need a massive overhaul of the playing staff.

“There’s very few players that I would be keeping. Even if we stayed in the Championship, there would be a lot of players I was shipping out if I was Darren Moore.

“If we go down, there are maybe one or two players that you could use to get out of League One, but there’s not a lot that I’d be keeping.

“Reach is one of them, he’s talented but he’s inconsistent.”

Reach has shown that talent in recent weeks, scoring a brace in Wednesday’s 5-0 win over Cardiff City. However, he’s also contributed 39 other appearances in the Championship this season and is part of a squad facing up to life in League One.

The talent of the 28-year-old will secure him a good move. It’s our understanding that both Cardiff and Watford are amongst clubs interested in securing Reach’s service. If Wednesday are League One-bound, it doesn’t seem like Reach will be.

That’s the nature of football; one man’s talent can outweigh a club’s inconsistency and leave him better off than his employers. Reach will feel he’s done enough to justify a stay in the Championship, even if morally he should continuing fighting to put Wednesday back to the level they were when he arrived.

However, an overhaul is overdue at Hillsborough now. Palmer has made that point bullishly and the majority of supporters will back him up that there needs to be a change in personnel ahead of 2021/22.

Change is on the horizon, which is probably the best thing for all parties involved, even when it comes to Reach.

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Alfie is a journalist based in Yorkshire with years of experience covering the EFL. A current focus on Huddersfield Town and their fortunes back in the Championship, but out and about at as many games as possible. Covered Leeds United during their promotion-winning season in 2019/20.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Opinion: The time has come for Sheffield Wednesday’s five-year mainstay to move onto a fresh challenge

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