Sheffield Wednesday have sadly been proven right on Sam Hutchinson contract call – to the joy of nobody
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Because of all the players to have left Wednesday last summer, Sam Hutchinson was perhaps the most popular on the terraces.
And he’d more than played his part in the club’s ultimately doomed attempted to bounce back into the Championship at the first attempt – that his final act in blue and white was to stagger from the field bloody and concussed seemed somehow fitting.
Some surprise from some, then, when he was included on a list of players departing with no contract offered alongside Chey Dunkley and Saido Berahino.
Further surprise, perhaps, when he rocked up as a new signing in the division above, albeit at crisis club Reading. It was news that prompted a flurry of well wishes from Wednesday’s little corner of the internet, as did reports of Hutchinson’s promising start to life in a different blue and white.
That fine run of early season form proved fleeting, however, and to the joy of absolutely nobody involved either in Berkshire or South Yorkshire, Hutchinson has failed to complete 90 minutes since the start of October – with two comeback outings having proven unsuccessful. A tally of two appearances in 18 tells a regrettable tale.
“He (Hutchinson) is so frustrated because he just wants to be on the pitch and just wants to play," explained Royals manager Paul Ince earlier this week.
“And I think when he plays, we are a better team because we haven't really got that No.6 who sits there and plays.
“With Hutchinson, you never know what's going to happen. But he's disappointed and frustrated, and wants to be on the park. I think we are a better team [with him]. It allows Jeff Hendrick to be more advanced. It's going to be another three or four weeks before we have him (Hutchinson) back on the pitch.”
Though terms of some description were offered to Massimo Luongo – another popular Owls player who operates under the cloud of injury concern – he too has failed to prove Wednesday wrong, having played only 12 minutes of senior action this season.