Dom Howson's Sheffield Wednesday column: The big challenge facing Dominic Iorfa next season

As mid-season signings go, Dominic Iorfa was a big hit.

Thursday, 30th May 2019, 11:00 am
Updated Thursday, 30th May 2019, 4:56 pm

The lanky defender made an instant impact, coming off the bench on his debut to score a dramatic late equaliser against Rotherham United.

Speaking in the aftermath of their fortuitous draw with the Millers, boss Steve Bruce said: "I am sure he (Iorfa) will be a big asset to us.

"He has got all the attributes that I think you need to play for Sheffield Wednesday. He is big, powerful, quick and strong and we need a bit more of people like him."

Iorfa has demonstrated he has plenty to offer in both boxes since swapping Molineux for Hillsborough on January deadline-day. His powerful, direct runs from deep has added an extra attacking dimension to Wednesday’s forward thrusts.

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Iorfa is a handful too from set pieces. Given Iorfa gets paid to help keep clean sheets, three goals in 12 appearances is an excellent return. The Owls forked out around £200,000 for his services and that already looks a real snip.

Yet the encouraging thing with Iorfa is he still has lots of room for improvement. He has the potential to go far in the game but is acutely aware he is far from the finished article.

"I still think defensively my position at times can be better," said Iorfa, who turns 24 next month. "He (the manager) has tried to instil in me as well to go forward at the right times."

He is a work in progress but his positional sense and decision-making in the final third should improve as he develops and matures as a player.

Iorfa, though, will miss the start of next season following his daft, avoidable red card in the Preston North End thriller.

It means Liam Palmer, Ash Baker or possibly even Moses Odubajo (should Wednesday get that deal over the line) will be in possession of the right-back spot when the 2019/20 season kicks off in August. Iorfa will be playing catch up and could have a fight on his hands trying to win back the shirt should Palmer or whoever make a strong start to the campaign.

A tall, imposing, versatile player, Iorfa also has the ability to play at centre-half. In fact, he has talked at length in the past about that being his best position.

It is conceivable Iorfa's qualities could be utilised in the centre of the defence should Michael Hector not return or if Bruce hits a potential stumbling block with his recruitment drive this summer.

But for now, I think the full-back position is the best place for Iorfa. His challenge is to make that spot his own.