If Simon Grayson had got his way in the summer, Adam Reach would be running out at Hillsborough for his Preston North End side tomorrow.
Grayson is a big fan of Reach’s qualities and conceded he “would have loved” to have brought the left-sided player back to Deepdale.
Reach, a graduate of Middlesbrough’s youth system, enjoyed a productive loan stint at Preston last season, racking up 36 appearances and scoring four goals.
Ultimately, Grayson was left disappointed as the Owls splashed out a club-record £5m for the 23-year-old’s services on deadline day at the end of August.
“When Adam is going for £5m, it shows it’s not a level playing field when it comes to finances,” said Grayson after Reach completed his Hillsborough switch.
“If it had been a million, we could have had a go but it would have still been a very rich deal for us.”
Reach, primarily a winger, is expected to line-up at left-back for the third match on the spin when Wednesday entertain Preston this weekend.
When asked if playing against one of his former clubs will spur Reach on to play even better, Owls boss Carlos Carvalhal told The Star: “When you play for Sheffield Wednesday, you don’t need extra motivation. When you represent a massive club like this who have 28 to 29,000 fans at home games and four or five thousand fans supporting us away from home, you don’t need special motivation to play games. You have to be 100 per cent in all the games.
“Adam has been doing really well and I think he will play the same way that he has done in the previous games.”
Carvalhal, who has confirmed back-up goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith has resumed full training after recovering from a finger injury, believes Reach has excelled in the full-back position. His steady form is keeping Daniel Pudil out of the side. Pudil had to make do with a place on the substitutes bench at Wolverhampton Wanderers last week.
“Adam has played against two of the more dangerous wingers in the competition in the last two matches and done fantastic,” said Carvalhal.
“Sone Aluko for Fulham has been their most influential player this season but Adam controlled everything.
“In the last game, Adam played against Hélder Costa, who is a player I know very well. He is Wolves’ most influential player, scores goals and makes assists but Adam did absolutely fantastic.
“When Adam has played left wing, he has done very well. When Adam played as a striker, he played very well against Cardiff so we are very happy to bring him in.
“He’s a left winger but Adam plays at a high level wherever he plays.”