Alan Biggs: No January sales for Sheffield Wednesday’s big names
Transfer windows can wreck plans as well as build them. It’s why this column hopes and expects that, for all the usual agent-led hype, activity around S6 next month will be minimal.
And it doesn’t have to be more than that to have an effect because Sheffield Wednesday are close enough to where they want their team to be to know that one, maybe two signings can bridge the gap. But they will have to be damn good ones to improve this side.
Sometimes you can try too hard and add too many. I doubt that will happen, even though the resources are almost certainly in place. But it’s worth remembering how an ever-eager impact from former chairman Milan Mandaric in the early weeks of his reign led to half-a-dozen signings who only succeeded in weakening the fabric of a promotion-hunting team and effectively cost the then manager, Alan Irvine, his job.
Although Wednesday are a world away from those League One struggles, it’s a reminder of how even a wily old operator like Mandaric can miscalculate; a rare mistake from an owner to whom much is still owed by club and fans.
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The worst thing the Owls could do in this window is start trading, in the true sense of the word. It means turning a largely deaf ear to a month of howling speculation about how much somebody is prepared to pay for one of your players . . . and how much you are prepared to pay for somebody else’s.
Dejphon Chansiri has learned quickly enough to be wary of the pitfalls and, in any case, his record so far suggests he is not a willing participant in these sort of games. Certainly, he is adamant on not “playing the game” when it comes to feeding the rumour mill. For better or worse, Chansiri will want absolutely no transfer information to emanate from Hillsborough, other than any done deals. You sense it will also suit him if people think he won’t be very active at all.
Above all, it’ll be played HIS way by Chansiri whose jettisoning of Glenn Roeder (and virtual disbandment of the transfer “committee”), suggests he has learned a lesson on the way forward.
This also removes the unhealthy element of the head coach’s rumoured rift with the chief advisor who, the grapevine suggests, was effectively barred from the training ground.
It’ll be action rather than words from Chansiri, with perhaps the odd surprise typically thrown in, but nothing like the necessary signing stampede of last summer when the retaining of Tom Lees against strong interest from Fulham was equally significant, not to say symbolic.
It’s why I’d bet heavily against a big money departure during January – and how refreshing also that Wednesday now have players worth serious money, whether it be Keiren Westwood, Kieran Lee or Lucas Joao, the striker who may one day be worth multiples of whatever tempter is tabled next month. Added to which, you can’t put a price on the squad spirit galvanised in remarkably quick time by Carlos Carvalhal, who insisted on highlighting this above individuals after a thrilling 4-1 home win over Wolves put Wednesday back to within a point of the play-offs.
For extra assurance on keeping this together, here’s how talisman Jose Semedo expects Chansiri to approach the window: “Sales? No chance. What he’s done shows you he wants to go the Premier League, not lose his best players.”