Why Sheffield Wednesday's Jordan Rhodes needs to 'look at Sergio Aguero'

It might seem like quite a stretch for a player struggling in the Championship to look for inspiration from one of the best strikers the Premier League has ever seen, but that’s exactly what one pundit says Jordan Rhodes needs to do if he is to get his Sheffield Wednesday career on track.

Tuesday, 8th December 2020, 12:20 pm

Rhodes has never really fitted in at Wednesday, despite the huge fee the club paid to bring him in from Middlesbrough and various managers have looked past him as they attempt to get goals in the team.

The 30-year-old scored on the opening day of the league season against Cardiff prompting hopes that finally Owls fans might be about to see a resurgent Rhodes.

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Jordan Rhodes walks striaght past Sheffield Wednesday boss Tony Pulis after being substituted having come off the bench agaisnt Stoke. Pic Steve Ellis

Since then, he has struggled to get into the team let alone find the net and two weeks ago suffered the embarrassment of being substituted by Wednesday boss Tony Pulis, having already come off the bench.

It seems as though Wednesday’s style of play isn’t going to suit the former free-scoring forward, but according to former Wedneday defender-turned-pundit Andy Hinchcliffe, there is a way the ex-Blackburn Rovers man can make himself an important part of the team again – and that’s look at what Pep Guardiola did with Sergio Aguero.

As Hinchcliffe points out, it’s ultimately down to Rhodes to fit in with how Pulis wants to play.

"The player has to adapt," Hinchcliffe told Sky Sports’ EFL podcast. "You've got coaches like Tony Pulis and he will say to Jordan Rhodes 'this is my CV, this is what I have achieved, this is what players have achieved playing for me.' 'You have to understand that if you are playing that position for me.'

"Scoring goals is vitally important and Wednesday desperately need them but it's the functioning of the team that you need to be part of as well.

"So the challenge is for the player. I always wondered even going back to five years ago when I saw [Rhodes] if that type of striker we would start to see less and less in the game and that's exactly how it has been.

"You look at Pep Guardiola and Sergio Aguero, the greatest goal-scorer the Premier League has ever seen. What did [Guardiola] do when he turned up at Man City? He said he wanted him to work harder and start the press. If you don't work hard, I'm going to play [Gabriel] Jesus. That's the standard for a lone centre forward these days.

"Aguero adapted his game and took it on. He worked harder and got fitter and played the role that Pep Guardiola wanted. That's what maybe Jordan Rhodes has to do because anywhere he goes teams are going to play a lone striker so can he adapt to be that lone striker in the future?"

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Chris Holt, Football Editor