“If you want to be big, you must think big.”
So said Carlos Carvalhal after Tuesday’s hard-fought home draw with Burnley.
It is a measure of how Wednesday have come under Carvalhal that there was a tinge of disappointment over picking up only a point against one of their promotion rivals. It is fine margins between success and failure at this level, but the Owls have earned the respect of their peers and assembled a strong team which is more than a match for the top sides in the division.
Adding Aiden McGeady to their ranks will only aid their promotion bid. A source told me the Owls worked hard behind the scenes on that loan signing for a big chunk of the January transfer window.
There was plenty of competition for McGeady’s signature. Blackburn Rovers agreed to Everton’s terms regarding the 29-year-old and Leeds United also kept close tabs on his situation.
Although McGeady is keen to force his way into the Republic of Ireland squad for this summer’s European Championships in France, the winger was reluctant to drop down from the top-flight.
But Wednesday’s patience ultimately paid off and McGeady became the fourth Premier League player to buy into their project this year, following in the footsteps of Jack Hunt, Joe Bennett and Gary Hooper.
In the past, the Owls probably would have missed out on landing McGeady. They would have had big trouble affording the loan fee and his wages.
However, times have changed now and that’s not the case anymore.
Wednesday have much more pulling power in the transfer market than they did a little over a year ago. Owner Dejphon Chansiri has put his money where his mouth is and the club can now attract a higher calibre of player due to their lofty league position and increased playing budget.
The £3m fees the Owls have forked out on Fernando Forestieri and Hooper are the club’s biggest financial outlays since the late Nineties. Forestieri and Hooper have netted 18 goals between them and look shrewd investments. Quality costs and Wednesday have shown they are determined to reach the next level. When the emergency loan market opens next week, expect them to be active again.
The bumper TV deal in the Premier League kicks in next season and the Owls’ recruitment drives suggests they are, as Carvalhal puts it, thinking big.