Ever since Kieran Lee first stepped onto the hallowed turf of Hillsborough under Dave Jones in 2012 he has been a favourite among the Wednesday faithful.
Kieran started his life at S6 in a back four but over time he has pushed up into the tip of a diamond in the centre of midfield after spells in the holding role and on the right hand side of midfield. Wherever he has played he has embraced his task and although he doesn’t have incredibly fast footwork or blistering pace he is a crucial player for the Owls.
Kieran has made 152 appearances so far for the Owls throughout a time under a number of different managers with very different approaches and I think it says enough that he has remained a first team footballer under all of them. I think one of his key aspects is the distance he covers as well as his ability to thread passes with pace on an attack. The passes he makes are not 40 yard diagonal balls to the wing but he is vital for Wednesday in keeping things tidy and driving forward at a rampant pace.
If the ball finds its way to Kieran’s feet while he is being marked tightly by his defender he always seems to be able to glide away and pick a pass and it seems as though the ball is glued to his feet, once he has got away and made a pass he’s always back on the hunt for the ball which is what makes him the player he is, non stop hard work, a joy to watch from the stands.
Kieran is now 29 so injuries have started to catch up with him, his hip his been causing him problems for the last couple of seasons and he was forced to undergo surgery in January forcing him to only play a very limited amount of games in the latter end of last season and unfortunately missed the duration of the Owls pre-season programme and only made his first appearance for Wednesday six games into the new season, scoring a goal and getting an assist.
In his comeback game against Ipswich away last year he delivered the goods yet again with a late goal that secured a play off spot for Carvalhal’s men, two other key moments for me are the injury time winners against Bristol City and Nottingham Forest last year. A key quote for me is ‘Big players produce big moments’ and that’s what you’re guaranteed with Kieran Lee.
It is quite simply beyond me how Kieran hasn’t picked up media attention yet, there is no other way to describe it than he is the most blatantly under rated player in the Championship. If I was being honest I think he would walk into just about all the midfield’s in this league and it would take a very special player to take away a starting place from him at any club.
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featured image credit SWFC.co.uk