Sheffield Wednesday: In-form Owls aim to tie down loan contingent

Gary Hooper
Gary Hooper
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For head coach Carlos Carvalhal, now is the time for Sheffield Wednesday to put their house in order.

While the promotion-chasing Owls are working hard behind the scenes to bring in reinforcements, the Championship club are seeking to tie down their existing loan players.

Jack Hunt

Jack Hunt

Wednesday confirmed the signing of Crystal Palace right-back Jack Hunt on a permanent basis yesterday. The attacking full-back has moved for an undisclosed fee, penning a three-and-a-half-year contract.

“Ever since I came here it’s felt like home and now I can actually call it home so it’s brilliant news for myself,” said Hunt. “I just wanted to come here and do as well as I could to help the team, but when there was the chance to make it permanent, I expressed my desire to do that.

“Everyone’s been amazing with me since I came to the club so hopefully I can repay the faith over the next few years.

“It’s a special club and is definitely going places.”

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Another player on the verge of commiting his long-term future to the Owls is Barry Bannan. The midfield maestro, a fans favourite following a series of impressive performances, has agreed to pen a new three-and-a-half-year contract.

Now Wednesday have swiftly turned their attentions to sorting out Gary Hooper’s situation. The striker is beginning to hit top form, having bagged four goals in his last five outings.

Carvalhal has expressed his desire to keep a hold of Hooper, who will go back to Norwich City following Saturday’s Yorkshire derby tussle with Leeds United.

“Gary was my first choice when I arrived in England but I can’t comment on contracts because it’s in the hands of the chairman,” insisted Carvalhal.

“Our chairman is doing fantastic and working on that. It’s very important we organise our house and stay with the players that we want in the future.”

Hooper bagged a double in their thrilling midweek win over bottom-of-the-table Bolton.

Neil Lennon, the Wanderers boss, said: “I know Gary very well. He’s a quality player and he was the difference.”

Owls defender Vincent Sasso hailed Hooper’s contribution as Carvalhal’s troops recorded a fourth consecutive home win to remain seventh in the table.

“It was a really tough game and we had some difficulties,” said Sasso. “But at half-time, we made some changes as the coach wasn’t really happy with the game and we changed some stuff. We won so this is the most important thing.

“We know that up front, we have some amazing players in Fernando Forestieri and Lucas Joao, even Atdhe Nuhiu. It was Gary Hooper’s turn against Bolton and he did really well.

“Everybody hopes Gary will stay because he is a really, really good player. We need this kind of player if we want to do great.”

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