Outgoing club captain Glenn Loovens has been described as a “fantastic” character by Wednesday manager Jos Luhukay.
Centre-half Loovens will depart Hillsborough after four and a half years service in the summer when his contract runs out.
The former Dutch international, who has made 149 appearances for the Championship club, has not been considered for selection in recent months.
He has slipped down in the pecking order, with Luhukay opting to give youth a chance.
But Luhukay paid tribute to Loovens at his press briefing this lunchtime.
He said: “Glenn’s character and mentality is fantastic. It has not been easy in the last few months (for him). He has not played many games. Most of the time he was not playing but his character on the training field and in the camp was always very positive.
“He motivated his colleagues in this last period so I have a lot of respect for him as a person and as a footballer. He had a fantastic career before he came to Sheffield. He played for some great clubs.”
Luhukay felt the time was right for Loovens to leave.
“I have a very good relationship with Glenn,” said Luhukay, who refused to rule out the possibility of Loovens being involved in Sunday’s Championship encounter with Norwich City. “We have spoken about his situation in the last two months.
“We had to make a decision. He is 34 and will be 35 this year.
“We know what we have done. We can both live with that.”
The Dutch chief has expressed his delight at tying down Daniel Pudil to a new contract. It was confirmed on Tuesday night that the defender had signed a new one-year contract extension.
“It is very positive that Daniel will play his football for us in the next year and we are very happy with that,” he said. “I see Daniel in that central position in the defending, he has done a good job in the last months.
“He has made progression in that position and he likes the position too.
“We have with Daniel a player who has experience in the Championship and we are happy with him.”