I think we're all basically familiar with the story of Sam Hutchinson. A True Blue if there ever was one, he first joined Chelsea aged 10, showing plenty of promise as both a center back and a right back as he worked his way up through the academy ranks.
All of that was cut short after a series of knee injuries forced him into early retirement... but he was back at it just a year later. Talk about perseverance! He made his full Premier League debut under Roberto Di Matteo, in the final match of the 2011-12 season.
Since then, he's had three loan spells in two years, eventually finding success with the third at Sheffield Wednesday after new injuries limited his time at both Nottingham Forest and Vitesse. In the three months at the venerable club in the second half of this season, he made 10 appearances (8 starts), most of them as a newly converted defensive midfielder. He's found enough success in this new role to prompt Wednesday head coach Stuart Gray to make a bid for a permanent move.
"Sam is available on a free. An offer has gone in for him. I think he's away on holiday with his family at the moment. The club are talking with his agent. I am keen to re-sign Sam."
"Any of the loan players we have taken have never been in anybody's first-team, so I've had to bring them here and get them up to speed and match fit. It can backfire on you sometimes. We've put Wickham, Fryatt and even Barkley and Hutchinson into the shop window. It opens the door for other people."
"Any of the lads we have brought here, we've looked after them. We've done it right. I think they appreciate what we have done for them. Maybe the player will have some loyalty to the club; I don't know if the agents do."
-Stuart Gray; source: Sheffield Star
With Sam having made a decent fist of things in the Championship, he may yet garner some interest from other clubs as well. But Wednesday seem like a good fit, and he certainly could do worse. Just the fact that for once, Sam didn't get injured for a few consecutive months is a positive sign; being in demand is just the icing on the cake.