Ex-Sheffield United stopper called 'great' by Emi Martinez set for Sheffield Wednesday role

A highly-rated goalkeeping coach who played a hand in the development of World Cup-winning former Sheffield Wednesday loanee Emi Martinez looks set to join Danny Röhl's coaching staff at S6.

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As first reported by BBC Sheffield, Sal Bibbo is believed to be set to become the latest addition to the Wednesday dugout and will work closely with Cameron Dawson and Devis Vasquez as a key part of Röhl's backroom team.

Bibbo arrives with an impressive CV having worked with at Reading, Arsenal and Brighton in his coaching career. As a journeyman player, he spent time at Sheffield United and Chesterfield in the mid-90s.

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The 49-year-old stand to replace Antonello Brambilla, who acted as goalkeeping coach in Xisco's short-lived reign as Wednesday boss. Academy goalkeeping coach Nicky Weaver has overseen the stoppers since Brambilla's departure alongside Xisco last month.

Bibbo was highly rated in his first full-time role with Reading, for whom he made seven league appearances towards the back end of his playing career. He took on the development of Premier League goalkeepers such as Adam Federici and Alex McCarthy during his time in Berkshire.

Arsene Wenger brought Bibbo to Arsenal as part of a backroom re-shuffle in 2019. He worked with the likes of Petr Cech and Emi Martinez, who holds him in high regard and as an important figure in his journey from loan spells with Wednesday, Rotherham and Reading to World Cup glory with Argentina last year.

On sealing the last of those loan moves to the Madejski in 2019, Martinez said: "I really look up to Sal, he’s a great goalkeeper coach and a great man so he was a major influence in me coming here.

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"When (Arsene) Wenger left, so many people were sacked at Arsenal. The fact that Arsenal wanted to keep him (Bibbo) in the club, it was for a reason. I’m very pleased that he’s still at Arsenal."

Bibbo left Arsenal in 2020 and has since worked as a youth goalkeeping coach at Brighton, who he joined in the summer of 2021. He has worked alongside coaches such as Wenger, Unai Emery, Brendan Rodgers and Steve Clarke across the course of his career.

Confirmation of the news would represent a step forward in Röhl's piecing together of his team at Wednesday. The German coach spoke of the appointment of a new keeper coach as a priority heading into the international break.