Sheffield United are being linked with a move for Jack Rodwell. The former Everton and Man City man is out of contract after leaving Blackburn in the summer.
The link (Football Insider), has caught some Blades fans off guard. The immediate reaction to Rodwell being linked from a lot of fans will be one of surprise.
Let’s not forget, this is a player who was once tipped for greatness. An inspired first few seasons at Goodison Park earning him a big-money move to Man City. Typically, though, as is the case with so many young players, it proved too much, too soon.
Rodwell spent just two seasons in Manchester. Less than 20 appearances at the Etihad eventually opened the door for a move to Sunderland.
It’s no big secret in football that Rodwell’s time at Sunderland wasn’t well received. Injuries, massive wages, and an apparent lack of desire to play meant the midfielder was never accepted by Mackems.
Coincidentally, or not, Sunderland were relegated from the Premier League. To cap things off, a year later they were relegated again, this time from the Championship. Rodwell was part of both squads.
As a result of his nightmare spell with the club, Rodwell was released in the summer of 2018.
Rodwell was given his chance last season by Tony Mowbray and Blackburn Rovers. The Lancashire outfit, freshly back into the Championship, took a punt on a player with obvious qualities in the locker.
For once, things went well for Rodwell. 21 appearances in the second-half of the campaign showed he could still do a job. Rovers selected him to start on 16 of those occasions and he cemented himself as a regular at Ewood Park.
Despite that contribution, Rodwell was released by Blackburn and remains without a club. A number of moves to Italy have, thus far, failed to materialise.
A Wilder signing
Sometimes players just need to find a home. A second chance, or a third or fourth in Rodwell’s case, might be just what Sheffield United can offer him.
Manager Chris Wilder isn’t afraid to take a punt on a player. David McGoldrick is the obvious example of this working. The Irishman was without a club after leaving Ipswich. But after proving himself in a trial, he has gone on to become one of United’s key men.
Ravel Morrison is another. It hasn’t quite worked out for the former Man United man as yet. However, Chris Wilder has already remarked he believes ‘Rav’ to be happy at the club. But for John Lundstram’s superb form, we might well have seen more of Morrison.
Rodwell, then, might make sense for United. This is a player who in his early days was a defensive minded midfielder. Might it be that Wilder sees a potential bargain in Rodwell? Someone who can come in and perhaps even fill in at right centre-back if needed, given his attributes.
In Jack Rodwell, Sheffield United might just be getting another in the squad with a point to prove. A chip on his shoulder and a will to prove himself at the highest level again. If Rodwell did get the call, you’d find it hard to imagine him turning down the lure of Bramall Lane.
That call will, of course, be Chris Wilder’s.