According to Lancashire Live, Blackburn Rovers beat Sheffield Wednesday and Stoke City to the signing of Harry Pickering as they agreed to loan him back to Crewe Alexandra.
The 22-year-old left-back has been in excellent form for the past 18 months.
Pickering recorded a stunning 89 key passes over the course of the 2019/20 campaign, the most by any fullback in England’s top four division with Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold hitting 75.
He is on course to beat that tally this term, posting 53 key passes in 23 League One games (Whoscored).
His form attracted plenty of Championship interest during the January transfer window.
Football Insider claimed Wednesday tabled an offer for him as the Owls looked to solve their lengthy left-back problem which has affected them this season.
But the Owls ultimately missed out on his signature as Blackburn signed him.
Lancashire Live claim the Owls and Stoke were in for Pickering, but it was Rovers’ decision to send him back to Crewe on loan until the summer which swung it in their favour.
The Owls reportedly wanted him right away, while their offer of buy now, pay later via monthly instalments was turned down as Crewe looked for payment upfront.
Wednesday will now have to go with what they have until the end of the season.
The Owls can play Adam Reach as a left wingback in a back three system, or right-back Liam Palmer can feature on the opposite side should Neil Thompson go with a back four.
Results have gone well for Wednesday of late, winning four of their past five league games.
But some may reflect on their January business as somewhat underwhelming and supporters will be hoping it doesn’t come back to bite them come the end of the season.