There appears to be a growing trend amongst football fans, particularly on social media that once a player has left, their significance, contributions, and impact at the club becomes obsolete. In its place, we see history re-written. I’d like this piece to provide an alternative narrative to counter-act that.
For many years, I dreaded ‘Deadline Day’ purely because I was fearful of losing a player like Nahki Wells. After losing Jordan Rhodes, we saw the impact that had and whilst Wells wasn’t as prolific as Rhodes, he was equally invaluable.
Each season, we saw him linked with a move to one of the bigger Championship clubs. Despite being slated by many, he was a proven goalscorer and at any level that is a valuable commodity to have.
If it wasn’t for some of his crucial goals and game-winning contributions, we could be heading into a season in League 1 with a middle management English manager rather than facing some of the biggest and best teams in the entirety of England with one of the best managers in the league by our side.
More recently, if it wasn’t for his crucial penalty which he confidently lashed past Al-Habsi to keep Town in the penalty shoot-out, there would’ve been no champagne moment for Schindler.
Instead, we would’ve been staring down the barrel at another season in the Championship, only this time, the spine of the squad would’ve been ripped out and we would’ve been without David Wagner.
Despite these massive contributions, some fans will never be able to see past the perception of Nahki Wells as an inconsistent frustrating striker who can have a moment of brilliant followed by missing a gilt-edged chance.
Others will be offended by the fact that Wells opted against signing a contract extension which would mean that he would leave for free next summer.
However, looking at the bigger picture, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s clear to me that despite improving and developing as a well-rounded striker under David Wagner’s tutelage, he never really suited Wagner’s system and regardless of the outcome of last season, the Bermudan would’ve been allowed to leave this summer.
It’s rather paradoxical that Nahki Wells has undergone the transformation of being a vitally integral player at the heart of Town’s side to one where the club has outgrown him.
This paradoxical situation means that the move is a good one for all the parties involved, particularly Nahki Wells who at the age of 28 needs to be playing week in, week out which Town simply couldn’t guarantee.
For me, he leaves the club as much more than just a loyal servant. He played a major part in Town’s infamous fairy-tale story. People will scoff that he only score ten goals last season but if he didn’t score them, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
Like Town itself, Nahki Wells’ time at Huddersfield has been a rollercoaster ride. From having to endure the hard labour of being a lone striker in Chris Powell’s system where the Bermudan striker was constantly fed off scraps to having to adapt to Wagner’s system, Wells never shirked the responsibility as he lead the line crucially on Town’s road to promotion.
For that, every goal that he has scored, every game that he gave it all, I have nothing but utmost respect for the Bermudan striker and I genuinely wish him well because he does deserve his chance in the Premier League.