Dom Howson’s Sheffield Wednesday column: Where the Owls have done well in the transfer market

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A number of Championship clubs are splashing the cash chasing the Holy Grail that is a place among the Premier League elite.

Transfer fees and wages have gone through the roof. Sides such as Wolverhampton Wanderers have spent lavish amounts of money on buying top foreign talent. It is a risky strategy but their bright start suggests they will be in the promotion mix.

Surely the crazy level of spending in English football is unsustainable and can’t go on forever? As the gulf between smaller and bigger clubs continues to widen, surely it is only a matter of time before more teams get into financial trouble? That is probably a column for another day.

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But money doesn’t always guarantee success. Just look at Derby County or Aston Villa at this level.

Shrewd signings, good coaching and a strong team spirit can take teams a long way in the division. Blackpool and Huddersfield Town are two great examples of teams overachieving without spending a big fortune.

There is a widespread perception in the Championship that Wednesday are one of the division’s big spenders and it is a claim head coach Carlos Carvalhal strongly denies.

“People create an impage of us spending millions and millions; that is not the reality,” he said.

“My chairman and the people who do deals are doing very good deals for Sheffield Wednesday.

“We have not spent too much money and brought in good players. We are not a poor team in the competition but there are teams around us who have spent more in the last two seasons.”

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Whether Carvalhal likes it not, the Portuguese chief has probably had more money to play with than the last 10 Wednesday managers combined. There has been a significant increase in the playing budget, with the Owls making a series of expensive, high profile signings.

Have Wednesday spent all their cash wisely? You would have to argue their recruitment drive has left a lot to be desired at times and too much money has been wasted.

But where the Owls have had success in recent years is in identifying and bringing in quality free transfers. Ross Wallace, Barry Bannan and Steven Fletcher have proved canny recruits. George Boyd also looks a smart piece of business. None of the players mentioned above will be cheap in wages but there are bargains to be had.

There is perhaps a lesson to be learned here just days before the transfer market shuts.

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