‘We have to be clever in our work’ – Steve Bruce provides details of Sheffield Wednesday’s summer recruitment plans
It promises to be a summer of change at Hillsborough.
There is a big rebuilding job to be done and Owls boss Steve Bruce has hinted he will be busy in the transfer market reshaping the squad he inherited in January.
But Bruce admits Wednesday will have to be "clever" in their recruitment drive. It is no secret the Owls are working under tough financial restraints as they aim to stay within the guidelines of Profitability and Sustainability rules. Wednesday were placed under a soft transfer embargo after breaching the regulations last summer.
"Like a lot of clubs in the Championship, we have got to start now adhering to the rules of what is before us," he said. "We have seen if you break them and flaunt them then you get penalty points and deductions and you’re goosed before you start.
"I'm under no illusion that there will be hundreds of millions to spend.
"We have got to be clever in our work and use the loan market well."
He pointed to the loan deals of Michael Hector, Josh Onomah, Achraf Lazaar and Rolando Aarons as shrewd pieces of business.
"Michael Hector has had a wonderful season on loan," said Bruce, who admits he "would love" to bring Hector back to the club next season.
"It's a shame that Josh Onomah has had the injury problems that he has had because he is another really good signing. And the two lads from Newcastle gave us a little bit of impetous just when the club needed it so you can use the (loan) market.
"We have to be clever with our approach. We have to work hard on trying to get what we want."
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Bruce believes the nucleus of the Owls' playing roster is "very decent", although he is keen to reduce the age and size of his squad.
"We have got to find the right balance and that is always a bit difficult. You can see why the club has nearly got there (the Premier League) two to three years ago.
"However, unfortunately, they have all grown a little bit older together. The vast majority of the squad are still here from three years ago. That doesn't really happen a lot.
"It is an opportunity in the summer to bring some fresh faces, fresh legs and fresh energy which a squad always wants. There is nothing quite like a new player walking through the door.
"Let's hope it's a fruitful summer for us and we can do our business and get some decent players walking through the door."
He has stressed it will take time to make personnel changes and that he will only sign players who he believes can improve the side.
"In my experience, you can't radically change overnight," said Bruce. "It's a drip-feed into the squad.
"You can't always get what you want. I'm the type now that if I can't get what I want I would rather wait.
"We will not just be bringing players in for the sake of it; that's for sure."