What happened to the six signings Steve Bruce made during whirlwind Sheffield Wednesday spell?
Steve Bruce was at Sheffield Wednesday for a grand total of about six months before heading to Newcastle United – but what happened to the signings that he made during his spell at Hillsborough?
Bruce was a popular appointment at S6 after Dejphon Chansiri brought him on board to replace Jos Luhukay, however his arrival was delayed by a month after the club gave him leave to go on a pre-arranged holiday to the Caribbean with his family.
But when he did arrive in Sheffield, the Owls boss wasted no time in bringing in some fresh faces in an attempt to turn around their fortunes, with three coming in on deadline day just hours after his unveiling.
The following summer three more came in – but how did they all fare?
Iorfa was Bruce’s first signing at Wednesday, and has undoubtedly been the most successful… Brought in as a full back for a reported £200,000 from Wolverhampton Wanderers, the defender has since been converted to centre back and become one of the first names on the Wednesday teamsheet.
He was voted as the 2019/20 Player of the Season at Hillsborough, and recently signed a new contract as he committed his future to the club despite their League One status. 84 appearances and counting – an an ever-present in League One this season.
The wideman, who was 23 at the time, became Bruce’s second signing on January deadline day in 2019 – joining them on loan from Newcastle until the end of the season.
Aarons blew a bit hot and cold during his time at Hillsborough, scoring one goal and getting one assist in the 10 games that he played in Wednesday colours.
After leaving the Owls went on to play for Wycombe Wanderers and Motherwell on loan before joining Huddersfield Town at the start of 2021. He’s not played this season yet.
The third and final signing from Bruce on a busy deadline day, Lazaar also joined on loan from the Magpies, and was seen as an exciting acquisition for the club.
Sadly though, his spell was plagued by injury, and after a very promising debut he managed to make just three more appearances before his loan spell came to an end. Interestingly, he won every game he played, and only saw the side concede once in his 220 minutes on the field.
This season he’s at Portimonense after leaving Watford, but has only played one game for the Portuguese outfit so far.
The German defender was the first summer signing from Bruce ahead of what could have been a very exciting campaign for the Owls – he joined as a free transfer from Arminia Bielefeld in Germany, and started his Wednesday career superbly.
Börner’s arrival suggested a change in tact from the big-name expensive signings, and was thought to be the first of many new faces brought in by the new manager. That didn’t end up being the case.
The defender, who has since returned to Germany with Hannover 96, had a hit and miss time at Hillsborough, but left an emotional message for supporters on his exit earlier this year.
He ultimately played 70 times for Wednesday, scoring four goals, and was very close to being the man to keep them in the Championship after scoring the third in that fateful 3-3 draw away at Derby County on the final day of the 2020/21 campaign.
Odubajo’s arrival was another one welcomed by Wednesdayites, with the attacking full back having had a good spell with Bruce during their time at Hull City together. The speedy defender had been part of the side that pipped the Owls to Premier League promotion in 2016.
His time in S6 didn’t quite go to plan though, with injuries having halted his progress and a couple of his performances in particular led to criticism from the Wednesday fan base.
The former Brentford man was used as a full back, wing back, right-sided centre back and even a right midfielder at various points under various managers, and things never really seemed to settle down for him.
Now with Queens Park Rangers, however, the 28-year-old appears to be finding his feet once again, and has missed just three Championship matches so far as his side try to push for promotion into the top-flight.
Harris was the sixth – and final – signing made by Bruce at Hillsborough, with his arrival being confirmed just days before the manager handed in his resignation ahead of his much-maligned move to Tyneside.
So, like Börner and Odubajo, the attacker never actually got to play a competitive game for the man that signed him – however his debut couldn’t have gone much better as he scored in a win away at Reading less than a month later.
His time at Wednesday was a mixed bag in general, though, with the former Cardiff City man playing in numerous positions – including being moved to left wingback by Garry Monk – prior to his exit this summer just gone. He played 88 times for the club – a tally only bettered by Iorfa amongst Bruce’s signings.
Now in Ukraine after a shock move to Metalist Kharkiv, the 28-year-old has started brightly in his new environment and is looking to try and help his side in their bid to claim promotion back to the top-flight after they were recently reformed under new owners.