Sheffield Wednesday's transfer to-do list: Dom Howson's Owls column
It's time to face facts.
Sheffield Wednesday are a club going through a transitional period.
They are under new management. Jos Luhukay is building a team for the future, starting at the back.
They are realistically not going to get promoted or go down this season (Although the team could still get sucked into a relegation dogfight unless they pick up a few wins sharpish). They look destined for mid-table mediocrity.
So far it has been a relatively quiet transfer window at Hillsborough. Chairman Dejphon Chansiri sanctioned the signing of Dutchman Joey Pelupessy but the defensive midfielder remains their only new recruit. Despite the club’s best efforts, Wednesday failed to land Feyenoord left-back Miquel Nelom.
As for outgoings, goalkeeper Jake Kean joined League Two Grimsby Town on loan until the end of the season.
It is vitally important the Owls make the most of what remains of this transfer window. They can ill-afford to waste time and wait until the summer to begin the rebuilding process.
This is what should be on the Owls hierarchy’s agenda before the market shuts at 11pm next Wednesday:
1) Signing a pacey attacker
It is an area the Owls have been looking to bolster for some time. Back in August, Wednesday tried and failed to bring in Liverpool’s Ryan Kent on loan.
Barring Lucas Joao and the injured Fernando Forestieri, the Owls’ forward line is short on pace to stretch defences.
While Luhukay’s team has lined up in 3-5-2 formation in the three matches he has overseen, his preferred system is believed to be 4-2-3-1. Wednesday are, in an ideal world, chasing someone who can play multiple positions.
What is paramount is they get the right person in who is an upgrade on what they already have.
Should Luhukay and Chansiri’s global advisers turn their attentions to the overseas market again and find an individual who fits the bill, this is an ideal period to get them bedded in. Not every foreign player immediately finds their feet in the hustle and bustle of the Championship.
Any other canny pieces of business which would strengthen the Owls in the long-term would also not go amiss.
2) Let a few youngsters go out on loan
What the last couple of weeks have underlined is Wednesday possess a talented crop of youngsters. Luhukay has arrived with a clean slate and given academy players such as Jordan Thorniley, Connor O’Grady, Frederik Nielsen and Sean Clare game time.
However, the Owls’ young guns are likely to find their path to the first-team blocked once Luhukay has a full complement of players to choose from. Ten senior professionals missed Saturday’s home draw to Cardiff City through injury.
Playing regularly in League One or League Two would benefit the likes of Clare, O’Grady, Thorniley and Jack Stobbs in their development more than getting minutes under their belts in Under-23s football.
Clare, Thorniley and Stobbs have already had stints away from S6 this season and Wednesday must continue with this policy to reap the rewards in the future.