Huddersfield FanZoner Kyle Warwick welcomes Nahki Wells' decision to join Town and explains why his move can benefit both club and player.
For Huddersfield Town fans over the past week all the talk has been the capture and debut appearance of club record signing Nahki Wells. This is perhaps understandable with Town capturing the 23-year-old, when clubs higher up their division and in the Premier League were reportedly interested. Wells then came on in the second half to score the deciding goal in the 1-0 win over Millwall on Saturday. A dream debut if ever I saw one!
Some people have questioned the young Bermudan international's decision to join the Terriers. Some have even suggested it shows a lack of ambition. This is unfair to both the club and the player for a number of reasons.
For the club itself it is massively unfair given Huddersfield's track record of allowing the young players at the club the opportunity to flourish into first-team regulars. Whether the player is an Academy graduate or someone the club has purchased, they can look back at a history of young players that have established themselves as regulars at the club.
Wells will be looking at players in Town's recent history such as Jordan Rhodes, Danny Ward, and Lee Novak. They have all been helped to develop, both as footballers and professionals during their time at the club. You can see this in the way that Rhodes handled himself at the club during prolonged periods of transfer speculation. He just kept his head down, carried on working hard for the team, and more importantly kept scoring goals. Wells is young and confident and if he can maintain his form is certain to be given opportunities by manager Mark Robins.
Something else that might have worked in the club's favour is the wide ranging striking experience at Huddersfield. For a start manager Mark Robins was a journeyman striker who scored over 100 goals in his career, some of which came for three different top flight teams. Now the Terriers have both James Vaughan and Jon Stead in the squad. Stead has been around the block since his first stint at the club as a breakthrough youngster.
It is probably fair to say that some of his own transfers have not worked out well for him. Yet no experience is bad experience and Stead will be able to pass it on to Wells as he settles at the club.
Whilst Vaughan is younger than Stead, by five years, he still carries a lot of experience, especially in dealing with the pressure of being an up-and-coming footballer. In his fledgling professional career at Everton, Vaughan was seen as a precocious talent, from whom a lot could be expected. Becoming Everton's and the Premier League's youngest ever goal scorer will certainly have added to that expectation. By Wells' own admission he can learn from Vaughan.
Wells' has been quoted in a recent article in The Royal Gazette saying that Vaughan "has been playing a long time and has a lot of experience for such a young guy". This experience will be invaluable for Wells' as he looks to settle at his new club. Furthermore the move is not a big one geographically and this should help him ease into the club better. Huddersfield is only 15 miles away from Bradford so I can't imagine Wells needing to move home. This is definitely a positive for a player looking to carry his form from Bradford, this season, into his new club as it will mean less stress.
I would also like to point out that the move to Huddersfield does represent a step up for Wells. Not only in terms of opposition but also the players he will be playing and training with. At Wells' age he needs to be improving all the time and playing regular first-team football will help that. He will get his chance to play first-team football at Huddersfield and at a higher standard than at Bradford. And despite Huddersfield's mid-table standing, the club are much closer to the play-offs than the relegation zone and Huddersfield chairman Dean Hoyle has challenged Wells to push the side closer to a top-six berth. These are the sorts of challenges that a young, confident, improving footballer can thrive on.
Huddersfield also represent an opportunity for young players to grow with the club and make themselves an integral part of it. The club itself is moving towards financial self-sustainability a fact Town fans could hardly have believed 10 years ago when we were languishing in the bottom division of the Football League. The club has moved on a great deal since those days and can now look to a brighter future of which Wells can be apart. Along with players like Danny Ward and Adam Clayton, Wells is in a position to grow with the club and become the experienced head for the younger generation coming out of Huddersfield's academy if he so wishes.
And if at some point in the future Wells feels like he needs to move on to keep improving then the club will not be one to hold him back, so long as the time and deal is right. In recent years the club has given opportunities to young players like Rhodes, Novak, Jack Hunt, and Anthony Pilkington and allowed all of them to move on when the time was right. This is a great thing for club to be known for as it allows us to attract young talent, help them develop and make a profit. So whilst many people may have been questioning Wells' decision to join Huddersfield Town we are delighted to have him and as has been shown the player will be delighted to be here.