Sheffield Wednesday may well be in need of a new manager, but another off-the-pitch move could be game-changing for their season…
The versatile 31-year-old ended a six-year association with the south Yorkshiremen in the summer, but after just five appearances for the Cyta Championship side, his contract was terminated.
Wednesday chairman Dejphon Chansiri spoke about the links after Tony Pulis’ sacking, he told reporters: “He [Pulis] wanted Sam to come back. I didn’t have any issue with that but of course, I ask questions about his fitness and where he would fit in.”
The Owls are sitting perilously at the bottom of the Championship table, even despite an unbeaten run of four league games, they remain six points from safety at the half-way stage.
Aside from the obvious need to appoint a new leader, the struggling Yorkshiremen could be handed a major boost through the reintroduction of Hutchinson as he’s a vastly-experienced pro who knows this club inside out.
Per Transfermarkt, the former Chelsea graduate has played 154 times for the Owls, and 152 times in the Championship, including both of their last playoff campaigns under Carlos Carvalhal in 2015/16 and 2016/17.
Hutchinson was one of Wednesday’s most reliable and best players in that latter season, averaging a WhoScored rating of 7.13 from 34 starts, which was only topped by the long-serving Tom Lees.
The Athletic’s Brighton correspondent Andy Naylor dubbed him an “effective midfield enforcer” in that campaign too.
Whilst the veteran defensive midfielder, who is equally adept in central defence, has averaged 2.3 tackles and 2.3 interceptions throughout the course of his career, which would rank him second once again for both statistics in this current Owls squad, per WhoScored.
We know how committed he was too, as seen by these comments from Fabrice Muamba over an impressive tackle in 2016. Similarly, former skipper Glenn Loovens once said: “We know how important he is. I thought he also did brilliant as well as a centre half, so it shows you what kind of player he is, that wherever you put him he will do a job for the team.”
His experience, versatility and evident defensive ability could be a game-changer for a team in the relegation battle like the Owls. He’s been there and done it in for their highs, and could be the sort of signing that sparks an encouraging impact in the lows right now.
Chansiri must sign off on a contract offer for the self-proclaimed “full-blooded” midfield beast as soon as possible.
AND in other news, Owls could land their dream manager in “intimidating” 52 y/o winner…