Column: Sheffield Wednesday need speed, accuracy and adaptability in transfer market

Wednesday must act fast this summer to avoid disappointment
Wednesday must act fast this summer to avoid disappointment
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It seems to have been universally accepted that the Wednesday squad will need a little care and attention before heading into battle again next season.

After last weekend’s disappointing play-off final defeat to Hull City, talk quickly turned to what Carlos Carvalhal would need to add to his arsenal to make sure similar disappointment would be avoided come next May.

Each area bar goalkeeper – avoiding a devastating departure for Keiren Westwood – has been discussed as requiring additions. And that is something difficult to argue with, particularly after a defeat at Wembley where Wednesday were bossed out of the game.

In the transfer market, Wednesday are now playing catch-up. Their divisional rivals have had almost a month’s head start on them in identifying targets and making initial moves.

Only so much headway could have been made by Owls staff, given they did not know which league they would be playing in. And the markets for Premier League and Championship talent are worlds apart.

But they must catch-up quickly if they are to make the strong start to next season they will need.

It took almost two months for them to get going last term. This was entirely understandable given the major influx of players working under a new coach with fresh ideas.

But it cannot happen again. The quality of the Championship looks only to have increased due to the three clubs to have been relegated and it looks set to be as competitive as ever. There can be no playing catch-up once kick off comes so business must be done as soon as possible to ensure Wednesday are ready to go on August 6.

Of course, it has to be done right. Barring the odd early misstep last summer, business was pretty good. Arguably, it needs to be even better this year as Carvalhal looks to refine rather than rebuild.

Something exposed in last weekend’s defeat to Hull was a real lack of a plan B for Wednesday in terms of system. They wilted against Hull’s 4-2-3-1, the midfield and defence pushed so deep that they were entirely ineffective in attack. It began after 20 minutes and for the next 70-odd, Wednesday simply had no response.

The Owls can sing in the 4-4-2, but it was only good enough on one occasion in 13 attempts to produce a win over one of the five sides who finished above them.

Carvalhal needs adaptability and options on his plate so versatility should join quality on his menu. And it should be made to order pretty sharpish.