Has surprise link proven Garry Monk right over Sheffield Wednesday transfer call?
It feels a long, long time ago.
The double departure of defensive youngsters Jordan Thorniley and Ash Baker in January 2020 came as something of a surprise as the pair moved on to Blackpool and Newport County respectively.
Both have experienced contrasting times.
Though things looked to be going slowly for Thorniley, out of the team and available for transfer earlier this year, he roared back to play a central part in Blackpool’s promotion from League One.
Right-back Baker on the other hand was released by League Two Newport earlier this month and has been linked with a surprise move to part-time Penybont, who last season finished fourth in the second phase Group A of the Cymru Premier League.
Baker played only eight times for County last season despite having made a decent initial impact there, starting his first four matches and earning praise from the club’s highly-rated young manager Michael Flynn.
But a a torrid time with injuries has cost him dearly and his 2020/21 season ended after he tore a groin in February.
Speaking at the time of the double departure, then Owls boss Garry Monk told The Star: “They're just past that period of being an Under-23s player or whatever it may be.
“We had good discussions with those two and the question was 'were they going to push into the first team this season?' Likely not.
“It's also about their ambition, to go and get games and get their own career going. You have to respect both and understand that.
“We had good discussions with the pair of them and they wanted to go and get their careers going.”