The Fulham manager Scott Parker has explained his decision to drop the former Sheffield Wednesday loan star Michael Hector.
Hector starred while on loan to Wednesday from Chelsea the season before last, being crowned player of the year at Hillsborough.
But attempts to bring him back for the following campaign failed and Fulham swooped in to sign him for a reported fee of £5.3 million.
The centre-back was an ever-present from January as Fulham gained promotion via the Championship play-offs.
But he played just three times at Premier League level before Fulham turned turned to the transfer market, bringing in a trio of competitors in Tosin Adarabioyo, Joachim Anderson and Terence Kongolo.
That led to talk of a late-window loan move for Hector, with Wednesday one of the clubs credited with an interest.
But an injury to Anderson is said to have scuppered the Owls’ hopes of a reunion.
Speaking to West London Sport this week, Parker said: “Hec will be the first to admit the quick turnaround and the amount of games saw him struggling a bit.
“You need to realise where you are at moments like these.
“He needs to keep improving and learning from the step up.
“I’m sure he’s not pleased, not happy, but it’s what players like Hec learn from this that will make a difference.”
Wednesday eventually signed Aden Flint on loan from Cardiff City, taking their tally of senior centre-backs to six, alongside Dominic Iorfa, Tom Lees, Joost van Aken, Julian Borner and Chey Dunkley.
Most of those are either injured or suspended at the minute, however, and it would not have hurt to have got a deal for Hector over the line.