Blackpool Set For Potentially Season-Defining Blow

Blackpool could be set for a major blow to their promotion hopes, with Championship outfit Huddersfield Town keen to recall talisman Jordan Rhodes from his season-long loan, according to journalist Alan Nixon.

The 33-year-old was allowed to depart the Terriers in the summer in search of regular first-team football, with then-manager Neil Warnock sanctioning the exit in August. He had played a bit-part role at the John Smith’s Stadium last season, eventually falling out of favour towards the end of the campaign having hit just five league goals.

A drop to League One followed – a division in which he had not played in over a decade – with Blackpool snapping up the former Scotland international. It is a move which has proved fruitful, and the attacker is currently tied with Charlton Athletic’s Alfie May as the division’s top goalscorer with 15, with the Tangerines targeting a play-off spot.

With five goals in his last four games, Rhodes is expected to lead the line again this afternoon in the trip to Burton Albion, but his time at Bloomfield Road could be coming to a premature end. According to Nixon, Huddersfield are exploring the possibility of recalling the striker as they look to salvage a spot in the second tier.

Darren Moore took the reins from Warnock in September, but he has been unable to pull away from the scrap at the bottom of the table. Queens Park Rangers and former club Sheffield Wednesday have picked up form in recent weeks following managerial changes of their own, and Huddersfield now sit just two points above the drop zone.

They have scored just 21 goals in 23 games to date and will be looking to improve that in the New Year. Rhodes’ form this season means that Moore has an option available and Blackpool chief Julian Winter addressed the situation earlier this month:

“There’s a window which they can trigger a recall but it’s in their court.

“I don’t think I’ve ever come across a club that leaves it late if they want a loan player to return, they usually make that decision pretty quickly. We’ll know relatively early in January if that’s the case, but it’s not within our gift. We’ve just got to prepare for that possibility.

“The recruitment team is constantly working on options for all scenarios, and that’s an obvious one- everyone will talk about Jordan and say ‘what if.’

“We don’t know what Huddersfield are thinking at this stage. He’ll concentrate with us and we’ll see what happens- hopefully it’s a positive outcome for us.”

Huddersfield host an out-of-form Blackburn Rovers this afternoon, who have one win in their last five.

Writer’s View

Blackpool will be desperate to keep hold of Rhodes next month and will see him as pivotal to their promotion push. However, these kinds of deals always come attached with an element of risk, especially when the player’s parent club is struggling so badly.

The 33-year-old is a player who has consistently played in the Championship, and it can be argued that he is too good for League One. Blackpool will have no say in the matter, although will be hoping that Rhode’s desire to remain in Lancashire may play a part in Huddersfield’s decision.

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