Barry Bannan gives an insight into what Sheffield Wednesday will miss behind the scenes after Steven Fletcher exit

Sheffield Wednesday have lost a lot more in Steven Fletcher than his 13 goals this season, according to the club’s vice-captain and talisman Barry Bannan.

By Alex Miller
Tuesday, 4th August 2020, 12:00 pm

Scotland international Fletcher, the Owls’ top scorer in a turbulent campaign, left the club at the end of June when his contract ended. It left Wednesday with seven games to play without their target man, who has reportedly moved back to Glasgow amid links with both Celtic and Rangers.

It was suggested by manager Garry Monk that Wednesday had hoped to keep Fletcher on but that the changing face of the club’s finances amid the coronavirus pandemic had changed what they could offer both him and left-back Morgan Fox, who left the club at the same time.

Monk said both players had the sort attitude he wanted to build the Owls’ transition around going forward, something Bannan appears to agree with.

Barry Bannan says Celtic should be signing his former Sheffield Wednesday team mate Steven Fletcher. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

“Steven is one of the best strikers I’ve ever played with,” he told the Daily Record. “He’s one of those players who, until you actually play alongside him, you don’t understand how good he is.

“I thought before that with all the headed goals he scores, he was just a big striker type, but you play alongside him and realise he’s nothing like that.

“His ability with his feet is second to none and he is really the all-round striker.”

Bannan, a fellow Scot and close friend of Fletcher’s, paid testament to the forward’s off-field influence at Wednesday and made clear he’d like to see Celtic, his boyhood club, make a move for the forward.

He said: “Last season and a half he was unbelievable. We were third at Christmas last season and ended up dropping down the table after he got injured. That was a big part of why we fell away. We missed him.

“It’s not just his ability, it’s his approach off the park. His diet and work off the park make him a model professional. He’s in the gym two and three times a day.

“That’s probably why he’s reaping the rewards and I know from speaking with him that was the fittest he’s been and the most games he’s played in a season for a while during last year.

“The injury in January was unfortunate but the way he looks after himself now is brilliant and so is the way he is around the training ground.

“Steven is a good personality to have around and his professionalism rubbed off on to many of the other boys within the squad.

“He got a gym group together. A lot of the boys looked up to Fletch with the career that he’s had. You could see them thinking, ‘If it’s good enough for him it’ll be good enough for us’.

“It was a shame we couldn’t keep him because I’d have said he was one of the best in the Championship last season.”

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