Jordan Rhodes has endured a very difficult period in his career at times throughout his spell with Sheffield Wednesday, but the forward is starting to remind people of his qualities once again with his recent performances.
A lot of supporters might have already written off the forward in terms of his chances of ever making any sort of impact for the Owls, with his contract set to expire in the summer. While the likes of Huddersfield Town already emerging as reported interested parties. However, since Darren Moore’s arrival at Hillsborough Rhodes has been a player reborn and showing what he can do for them.
The forward was being starved of minutes in the Championship during the first half of the campaign. That came despite him starting in and scoring in Sheffield Wednesday’s 2-0 opening day win at Cardiff City. Gary Monk and then Tony Pulis largely overlooked Rhodes in terms of regular starts despite having limited options to call upon in the attacking third at times.
That means to date Rhodes has played just 956 minutes of football in the Championship and has just nine starts to his name (Transfermarkt). However, Moore has handed him starts in the last three matches and he completed the full 90 for the first time under the former Doncaster Rovers boss during the 2-0 win against Barnsley last time out (Sofascore).
Despite seeing limited game time this term, Rhodes is still enjoying by a distance his best season with the Owls. His two goals against Barnsley brought his tally up to six league goals which is the most he had scored in a single campaign for the club (Sofascore). While he is also scoring at a rate of 159 minutes per goal, his second-best minutes per goal ratio for the club was 228 minutes last term (Transfermarkt).
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Interestingly though, Rhodes’ shots per game ratio has dropped to 0.7 per game this term. That is compared with 0.8 last season, one shot per game in 2017/18 and 1.3 shots per game in 2016/17 (Sofascore). That suggests that the forward is taking shots from better areas when he gets the chance to and meaning he has more chance of making the most of the attempts he registers on goal.
This season has also seen Rhodes average just 11.9 touches per game, compared with 15.5 last term and 17.3 in 2017/18 (Sofascore). This would suggest that the forward is not having to do as much work in terms of in the build-up and instead is just being asked to operate between the posts. That is his main strength and Moore has realised that.
Sheffield Wednesday need to keep giving the forward the service that he thrives off and keep getting more balls into the penalty area for him to attack. As he has shown in the last three games, if they do that he will score goals. That is due to his natural instinct of being in the right place at the right time. The Owls need him to carry on scoring if they have a chance of survival.