As part of a Know Your History series with Sheffield Wednesday News, we will take a look at Wednesday’s record transfer buys and how they fared at Hillsborough.
Inflation and the quest for Premier League football are major factors when it comes to record purchases, with two current Owls players making the top five in the club’s all-time list.
Here are Wednesday’s top five record buys:
5: Andy Hinchcliffe
Andy Hinchcliffe arrived at Wednesday from Everton in 1998.
The former left-back became the Owls’ most expensive defender ever at the time, having won international caps with England only a couple of years prior to his move to Hillsborough.
Hinchcliffe went on to make over 80 appearances for Wednesday. However, the Owls suffered relegation during his time, and they have yet to bounce back to the top-flight.
4: Darko Kovacevic
Darko Kovacevic arrived at Wednesday in 1995 for a record fee rising to around £4 million.
The former Serbia international was a regular scorer for Red Star Belgrade, winning a league and cup double in the 1994/95 campaign which prompted Wednesday’s interest.
Kovacevic, however, made just 17 appearances for the Owls before returning to Red Star.
The striker was later voted among the Premier League’s top 50 worst signings, but Kovacevic went on to feature for illustrious clubs such as Juventus, Lazio and Real Sociedad.
3: Gilles de Bilde
Gilles de Bilde arrived at Wednesday as a Dutch title-winner during his time at PSV.
The former international striker cost around £4 million. However, despite scoring ten league goals in his debut campaign, the Owls were relegated in 2000.
De Bilde went on to have a loan spell at Aston Villa, before returning to his former club Anderlecht to see out the rest of his career in his native Belgium.
2: Adam Reach
Adam Reach became Wednesday’s record buy in 2016.
The winger arrived from fellow Championship club Middlesbrough for around £5 million, and he helped the Owls reach the playoffs under Carlos Carvalhal in the 2016/17 campaign.
Reach has started over 180 Championship games for Wednesday. His best individual season was arguably the 2018/19 campaign, posting seven goals and eight assists.
The 28-year-old, however, has seen his influence wane over the past 18 months and is now out of contract this summer with the Owls in a fight to retain their Championship status.
1: Jordan Rhodes
Jordan Rhodes joined the Owls one year after Reach, shattering their transfer record as he arrived at Hillsborough for a reported £10 million fee from Middlesbrough.
It was seemingly Dejphon Chansiri’s last throw of the dice for promotion.
Rhodes, however, has struggled to replicate his brilliant form shown at Huddersfield Town and Blackburn Rovers with just 18 Championship goals in an Owls shirt since 2016/17.
Now 31, Rhodes is out of contract this summer and seemingly set to leave on a free.