After relegation to League One was confirmed on the final day of the Championship season, many expected a mass squad turnover at Sheffield Wednesday come this summer.
And with the publication of the retained and released list last week, we now know that it’s going to go down exactly that way.
Many of the bigger earners were seeing their contracts expiring and unsurprisingly with the relegation bringing less money into the club next season, they were all let go as Darren Moore looks to put his own stamp on the squad.
Adam Reach, Keiren Westwood, Jordan Rhodes and many more have exited and one of the more long-serving members of the squad has also departed in the form of Tom Lees.
The centre-back joined from Leeds United in 2014 and made 249 league appearances for the Owls, being a regular at the heart of the defence for the club when he was fully fit.
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Considering he’s been at Wednesday for so long it was always going to be an emotional departure for Lees, and he’s used the club’s official website to send a message to the fans as his exit has been confirmed.
It’s a rather emotional message as Lees says that the sound of the fans singing Hi Ho Sheffield Wednesday will ‘never leave him’, and that he will return one day with his family to show them where he spent the ‘best years’ of his career.
Out of all the Wednesday departures this summer, the exit of Lees will probably hit the fans the most in the feels as he’s spent seven long years with the club.
You won’t find a Sheffield Wednesday fan with a bad word to say about him and it’s only because of finances and a desire to remain in the Championship as to why he’s departing – although the main reason is probably the former and not the latter.
Lees should have no issues in finding another club in the second tier as he’s proven to be a rather solid Championship centre-back in his time in S3, and if he does he could end up facing off against Wednesday next season should all the stars align.