Owls need to heed lessons of past loan signings: Ricky Charlesworth's Sheffield Wednesday column

For every Neil Mellor, there's a Warren Feeney.

Thursday, 31st May 2018, 4:00 pm
Neil Mellor proved a huge success during his Wednesday stay.
Neil Mellor proved a huge success during his Wednesday stay.

When it comes to signing players on loan, you never quite know what you’re going to get - especially when it comes to Wednesday’s dip into the market of temporary signings.

One player could hit it off and become a sensation whilst others come, don’t stay for long and are consigned to the annals of Hillsborough history.

Bradford City v Sheffield Wednesday.....Owls.....Danny Uchechi

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Earlier this week I wrote about the upcoming changes to the transfer system that come into force across the Premier League and EFL next season and how it could affect Wednesday’s business.

The changes will mean that permanent deals will need to be done and dusted by the first week of August.

The traditional August 31 deadline will still apply meaning clubs have time to still bring in players on temporary agreements, either until January or for the whole campaign.

This, combined with the fact that the emergency loan window no longer exists (it was scrapped two seasons ago), means we are unlikely to see as many loan arrivals at Hillsborough as has been the case.

On his Owls debut new loanee signing Gary Taylor-Fletcher

When putting together the piece, I took the time to scan over Wednesday’s loan deals from the last ten seasons.

The list was particularly lop-sided, with a sprinkling of successes outnumbered by a plethora of signings which would make supporters wince.

The aforementioned Mellor has arguably been the Owls’ best loan signing during the last decade.

Mellor signed from Preston North End for the 2010/11 season and although it was a disappointing one overall with the Owls finishing 15th in League One, Mellor was the undoubted star of the team as he hit 20 goals in all competitions.

Sheffield Wednesday......Jordan Spence

Others to have enjoyed success with the Owls on a temporary basis include Michail Antonio, Matty Fryatt and Ross Barkley, whilst more recently the likes of Sam Hutchinson, Gary Hooper and Daniel Pudil all signed for Wednesday permanently after initially arriving on temporary deals.

There have also been those who have arrived at S6 but never made an appearance.

David Kasnik and Lee Nicholls arrived in the League One days of 2010/11 but had the ignominy of never pulling on the shirt.

There have also been those who have made just a handful of appearances, clearly not impressing sufficiently to earn another outing.

Former Northern Ireland striker Feeney played just 13 minutes, Nigerian forward Danny Uchechi made just four appearances and Swiss hitman Andelko Savic managed a solitary substitute appearance against Bournemouth in 2013.

John Bostock, Gary Taylor-Fletcher, Sanchez Watt and Jordan Spence are just a few of the other names that Wednesday fans could be forgiven for having completely forgot about.

If indeed Wednesday do enter the loan market next term, let’s hope they can heed the lesson of the last decade and separate the wheat from the chaff.