Sheffield Wednesday scored some special goals last season but none will live as long in the memory as Marco Matias’ strike against Leeds United.
A fabulous display of skill, timing and audacity, the volley was the real announcement that the Portuguese had arrived for Wednesday, less than a month into the season.
But just as he was getting into his stride following his summer switch from CD Nacional, he was sidelined with a hernia issue which required surgery and would keep him out of action until February.
Wednesday moved on during Matias’ absence with the likes of Fernando Forestieri, Ross Wallace and Barry Bannan becoming key men in his position.
It ensured that even when he returned to fitness, the 27-year-old struggled to make an impact under compatriot Carlos Carvalhal.
But as Wednesday prepare to mount a renewed promotion bid next season, Matias could still play a major role for the Owls according to former centre half Miguel Llera, who has developed a friendship with the forward.
Llera says the attributes which led to Matias scoring 21 goals in 42 appearances for Nacional in the Portuguese top flight the season before his arrival at Hillsborough do not disappear and can be brought out again.
“Marco started well and then he got a hernia injury,” Llera told The Star.
“The dynamic of the team was good so it was difficult for him to get back in the side.
“It will be really important for him to get a good pre-season under his belt.
“He still has to work on the defensive part of the game. If he is finishing the game having put in 15 crosses, I don’t think Carlos will be bothered too much if he’s not defending. It is just a case of Marco understanding his role in the side.
“Marco is a quality player capable of doing something special. We have seen flashes of what he can do in the Middlesbrough and Leeds games last season.
“Wednesday just have to use his quality in the right way.
“Marco scored nearly 20 goals in the top division in Portugal. It’s not lucky when somebody does that.
“He is a good player. People have to be patient with him.”