Defender poised for Wednesday return as Megson closes in on goalie

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SHEFFIELD Wednesday are set to bring back their former loan star Joey O’Brien today after an on-off pursuit of the Bolton player.

He is due to rejoin the Owls for the rest of the season though at one stage yesterday it appeared that the move was off when the clubs were unable to reach agreement.

But then a deal was struck and the 25-year-old is poised to be reunited both with Gary Megson, who was his boss at Bolton, and Wednesday, with whom he had a successful three-month spell in their 2004-05 promotion season.

The Owls are also poised to sign a loan keeper before today’s 5pm deadline - believed to be a young player from a Premier League club.

O’Brien is keen to play senior football after overcoming a career-threatening knee problem. His Bolton contract runs out this summer.

It has been claimed that he pulled out of a Reserves game on Tuesday because it looked as if a loan switch to the Owls could be imminent.

Megson stood by him at Bolton when endorsing a one-year extension to his contract when he was undergoing his rehabilitation.

The Owls gave O’Brien his first League football when he was 18 and they were challenging for promotion under Paul Sturrock.

He has since made 50 Premier League appearances and 20 in the Cups and Europe for Bolton but has not played for the first team since October, 2008.

Able to play in midfield or at right back, he has said that he would welcome a loan move and his knee is now stronger than ever.

Megson, looking towards the future, has said that midfield is one of the areas that he is looking to strengthen.

O’Brien’s longer-term future will obviously by influenced by how he fares at Hillsborough.

The new keeper may be seen as back-up for Richard O’Donnell rather than a replacement for the 22-year-old who made an impressive debut at Southampton last Saturday, with Nicky Weaver ruled out for up to six weeks with a groin tear.