Dead end Rhodes – Jewell not watching Jordan
JORDAN Rhodes is NOT on Blues boss Paul Jewell’s transfer hit list – despite the fact that the red-hot striker would return to his former club in a heartbeat.
Seen as the ‘one that got away’ by Blues fans, scouts are currently flocking to watch the Huddersfield and Scotland Under-21 front man following an explosive spell of 14 goals for club and country during the month of October.
The former Kesgrave High School pupil was left upset by former Town manager Roy Keane’s decision to sell him to his current League One employers in 2009 for a reported �850,000.
And a source close to the player has told the Evening Star that he would ‘walk back’ to Portman Road if the opportunity of a return ever cropped up.
Jewell has been to watch Huddersfield in person twice this season – a 3-0 win at Sheffield United and a 1-1 draw at MK Dons – sparking rumours that he may be among those lining up a bid for 21-year-old Rhodes.
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However, the striker didn’t feature in one of those matches and was a late substitute in the other, leading the Blues boss to pour cold water on the speculation.
He said: “I know Jordan Rhodes has scored a few goals recently, but you have to remember he’s not always been a regular in the Huddersfield team. The last time I saw them it was Alan Lee and Lee Novak playing up front.
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“I don’t know why he left here so it’s hard for me to comment on. Different managers see things differently.”
Ipswich hold an undisclosed sell-on clause for Rhodes who is set to make his full Scotland debut in a friendly against Cyprus a week on Friday.
Instead, Jewell is believed to be closely monitoring Doncaster Rovers striker Billy Sharp – a player who he had a bid turned down for back in the summer.
The struggling Championship club may now have to cash in on their talisman, with chairman John Ryan having admitted recently that the wage bill will have to be reduced. Southampton are also an interested party.
WHAT’S BEEN SAID ABOUT RHODES
CRAIG LEVEIN, Scotland manager:
“Jordan has come to prominence and I can tell you, he’s improving. He’ll come with us to Cyprus.
“You put a ball into the penalty box and he’s invariably where it lands.
“That’s a (Kris) Boyd-like instinct. It’s amazing how many of his goals are one-touch finishes.”
ROY KEANE, then Ipswich boss speaking in August 2009:
“The offer that came in was acceptable. I’m under no illusion that, unfortunately, I have to let one or two players go to bring in one or two of my own.
“As much as I think Jordan has a good chance (of doing well in the game) that will be reflected in the fee and what will come in for him over the next few years.
“Sometimes you have to make sacrifices with young players.”
LEE CLARK, Huddersfield manager:
“He is a very talented young player who is still working on two or three areas of his game.
“I want him to develop into an all-round striker, not just a poacher.
“He’s like a sponge, he listens to everything said to him and takes it in.
“He’s desperate to be the best he can be and the really good thing is that he loves scoring goals, a quality all good strikers need to have.”