Alex Miller: 'Good deal' or not, Sheffield Wednesday NEED to keep Barry Bannan

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When it comes to selling big-name players at the right time, few would argue that Sheffield Wednesday are a club that haven’t quite got the hang of it in recent years.

Fernando Forestieri, once a Championship superstar that once attracted healthy eight-figure bids from the Premier League, left Hillsborough this summer for nothing, having barely offered a glance at his former glories for three seasons.

Adam Reach is another to have dwindled having attracted big money interest and there are a number of others. In terms of players sold in recent times, only Lucas Joao stands out as an healthy, lucrative and profitable piece of outgoing business for the Owls.

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And now comes a cash offer from Brentford for an ageing Barry Bannan. A Barry Bannan who missed key matches with a recurring groin injury last season and played with a fraction of the mobility he once thrived on. A Barry Bannan who himself has admitted is quite possibly getting somewhere past his incredible best.

At 30 years old, whatever final offer comes back from Brentford in the coming days will surely be the biggest figure Wednesday can expect to ever recoup for the little Scot, whether he leaves on a free transfer in a few months or re-signs to continue a Wednesday love affair that started over five years ago.

So the time has come to sell him, right?

Not on your Nellie. Like the Watford eyelids seen fluttering towards towards Dominic Iorfa over the past few weeks, Brentford’s advances are ones that should be flatly refused, the Hillsborough fax machines – cliche has it that football is the only industry in the world still to use fax machines – pulled from the pug sockets and thrown away.

A few weeks back? Perhaps, maybe, but no, probably not. Wednesday’s need for cash is apparent, but in the case of Bannan we’re unlikely to be talking megabucks here. With only a few days to go until the end of the window, the tearing of the club’s captain, talisman and creative hub from the heart of the squad is unimaginable.

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Barry Bannan is a key man at the heart of the Sheffield Wednesday team.Barry Bannan is a key man at the heart of the Sheffield Wednesday team.
Barry Bannan is a key man at the heart of the Sheffield Wednesday team.

Not now. Not this season. Not when the only thing that matters to Sheffield Wednesday in the whole wide world is the grabbing of Championship status for another year.

Lose Bannan for free? It’s a risk worth taking, surely? Whatever the Scot can be sold for over the next couple of days cannot come close to the potential financial impact of relegation.

Garry Monk has already spelled out the importance of success this campaign; on jobs behind the scenes, the security of the club, the very future of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club. Why weaken their chances?

Who would Wednesday pluck from a congested, inflated transfer window to replace the player that created more chances in the division last season than anyone but Matheus Pereira? Is there a cheap, available, unwanted player that can touch his respect, standing and leadership ability in the changing room? No.

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Survive this season and then a rejuvenated, fresh-thinking, business-orientated Sheffield Wednesday can kick in, a Sheffield Wednesday with a ‘buy low, sell high’ transfer model that so many of their Championship rivals have thrived on in the past.

But survival this season must come first. And for that, they need to keep hold of Barry Bannan.



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