Aden Flint contract status mentioned in deal delay explanation as Sheffield Wednesday learn Harlee Dean lesson

The decision by Sheffield Wednesday to wait on the signing of Aden Flint in an otherwise quiet January transfer window has been fully vindicated – with Darren Moore touching on the reasons they were made to wait on the deal.
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Loanee Flint has been a totem around which yet another rise in the Owls’ already hugely impressive defensive form has been built, with five clean sheets coming in the six League One matches the giant centre-half has played.

Wednesday waited until January 27 to make Flint their one and only addition of the winter transfer window and Moore has opened up on the decision to wait and wait on the target.

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The 33-year-old is out of contract with Stoke City in the summer, with Moore having already hinted that a deal to make him a permanent addition is under consideration.

Owls Aden Flint with his manager Darren Moore at the final whistle   PIc Steve EllisOwls Aden Flint with his manager Darren Moore at the final whistle   PIc Steve Ellis
Owls Aden Flint with his manager Darren Moore at the final whistle PIc Steve Ellis

“The wait was obviously him coming from Stoke and so there was always going to be dynamics in terms of how the loan deal was done,” Moore said. “Obviously, Aden is getting to the point where he's going to be out of contract at the end of the season so it was making sure the contractual bits were right for us, Stoke and Aden. It was a three-way thing.

“We had to wait patiently for him but we're really pleased to have him on board because his experience, knowledge and know-how has been vital for the group.

“I'm pleased he's come in and it’s been like water off a duck's back. We're pleased he's got the volume of games under his belt and he's at a point now where he can manage games.”

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Flint came in after the departure of loanee Mark McGuinness back to his parent club Cardiff City. A big-name addition who has held a reputation as one of the foremost central defenders in the Championship, he ticked many of the boxes Moore was looking for in terms of playing style and experience.

One thing Wednesday have managed to do better than in his first short-lived stint at Hillsborough is keep him fit and firing despite a long spell watching on from the sidelines as he fell down the pecking order at Stoke.

Last January Harlee Dean was brought in from Birmingham City in similar circumstances to Flint but managed only a handful of matches before suffering a calf injury that kept him out for several weeks.

Wednesday appear to have learned from mistakes on that front, taking Flint out of the side for a clash with MK Dons last month so as to protect his recovery.

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Moore continued: “Mark [McGuinness] did well for us but Aden came in and it was just about getting that central defender who is good with their first-time contacts in this league. It's vital.

“When Aden came in I said to him I had to manage him because we couldn't afford it to be like last season when Harlee Dean came in, we threw him into the team and he ended up breaking.

“We've managed Aden and learned from the season before and tried to put things in place and thus far, it looks like we've ticked that particular box.”


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