Jos Luhukay may be a distant memory to Sheffield Wednesday but despite his failings at the club earlier in the campaign, one key decision he made last summer could determine whether the Owls gain promotion.
The club are sitting outside the play-offs at the moment so four monumental games to come against Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest, Leeds and Norwich are make or break.
With that in mind, one man will be vital; Michael Hector.
Luhukay’s decision to bring him to the club on loan from Chelsea was one of the best he made during his tenure at the club and he is now proving vital under his successor, Steve Bruce.
The club have witnessed a remarkable turn in fortunes under new management with the Yorkshire side embarking on a run of 11 games without defeat, meaning Bruce is unbeaten since he took charge.
Hector has been vital in that and with the club about to play a succession of crucial games he can’t afford to take his foot off the gas.
At Wednesday, it finally looks as though the versatile 26-year-old has found a home. It’s his 15th loan spell away from his two permanent clubs in Reading and Chelsea, but with the appraisal he’s earned in Yorkshire he may finally find a settled place to play his football.
Hector has a no-nonsense nature, summed up by the number of clearances he makes and considering the period Wednesday face, they’ll need someone like him to be at his best.
On Saturday afternoon he’ll come up against another Chelsea loanee in Tammy Abraham. Their battle will be the difference between who comes away the happier of the two teams. The Villa striker has won 2.9% aerial duels per game this season. Hector in comparison has won more but it’s an area that will be intriguing to watch when they come up against each other.
The Jamaican international is also a good reader of the game and against a formidable midfield containing the creative outlets of Jack Grealish, John McGinn and Conor Hourihane, he will be key.
Wednesday are currently four points off the play-offs and under Luhukay, finishing in that part of the table wouldn’t have felt possible. However, one decision he’s made will prove vital to whether their turnaround under Bruce can be completed.