On Friday night a struggling Wycombe Wanderers side entertained a promotion chasing Huddersfield Town, in a League One game which was televised live.
21 year-old Jordan Rhodes scored his fifth hat-trick of the season but he didn’t stop at three. He scored five as Huddersfield won 6-0. Five goals in 50 minutes to be precise. The fact that this game was televised has made the media stand up and take notice of this young talent.
West Ham aren’t too happy about it as they were favourites to sign him. Now there’s an abundance of Premiership teams interested, although if you believe rumours, Fergie sent Paul Scholes as a scout to Huddersfield back in October to see what all the fuss was about.
This season his stats read, an insane, 27 goals in 22 games domestically, with his overall Huddersfield record being 60 goals in 103 games. He is a record breaker. During his first season at Huddersfield, aged 19, he scored a hat-trick of headers in eight minutes. This feat beat the previous best for an all-headed hat-trick which was set by Everton legend Dixie Dean, renowned for his aerial prowess, more than 70 years ago.
In October he became the first Huddersfield player to score consecutive hat-tricks since the 1920s, scoring trebles against Exeter City and Preston North End. In December he scored all of Huddersfield’s goals in a 4-4 draw against Sheffield Wednesday.
His father Andy Rhodes was a professional footballer at Oldham Athletic when Jordan was born in 1990. His father’s career took him north of the border where he played for eight years resulting in Rhodes junior spending his childhood and early school years in Scotland. When the family moved back to England, Rhodes snr was a coach at Ipswich Town. Jordan completed his schooling in Ipswich and was signed by Ipswich Town in 2005 as a 15 year-old. He played for the under 16s, under 18s and reserves in his first season, netting 40 goals. He was called up to the England under 17 squad but pulled out due to injury.
Whilst at Ipswich, Rhodes was also loaned out to Oxford United, Rochdale and Brentford. His exploits at the latter two clubs (9 goals in 19 games) resulted in an undisclosed fee transfer to Huddersfield.
Internationally, he qualified to represent Scotland as he attended school there for five years. Since selection he has been prolific at Scotland Under 21 level with 6 goals in 6 games culminating in his first cap for the senior national team in a 2-1 win away to Cyprus last November.
When I watched him play in the televised game, the way he took his goals reminded me of Alan Shearer. A robust, prolific unit who will always get there and is a nightmare for centre backs to play against.
Whilst Huddersfield are chasing promotion to the Championship they face a dilemma as to whether they cash in on their crown jewel in the January transfer window or wait until the summer, when they hopefully make to the Championship. With his exploits this season, Rhodes will not be a cheap acquisition. Would he cut it in the Premiership? Given his impressive track record, I believe so. It is only a matter of time before everyone starts talking about Jordan Rhodes.