Where caretaker boss Lee Bullen thinks Sheffield Wednesday need to strengthen before the summer transfer window closes

Regardless of whether he becomes the Owls' new full-time boss or not, Lee Bullen claims Wednesday remain light on numbers in three positions going into the new Championship season.

Monday, 29th July 2019, 10:00 am
Updated Monday, 29th July 2019, 16:42 pm
Owls caretaker boss Lee Bullen

“Personally, I feel we need cover at centre-back, a midfielder, and another winger," said the interim Owls boss. "That is my own personal opinion.

"I think that would be ideal and put this squad in a real good place going into the new season and and give us plenty of cover.

"But if we have to go with what we have got, we have lads who are adaptable."

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The Owls, who face Reading in their league opener at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday, have found it difficult to freshen up their first-team squad this summer. They were operating under a soft transfer embargo for several months after filing their accounts late to the English Football League and the restriction hindered the club's ability to bring in new blood.

But despite their financial constraints, Wednesday still added free agents Julian Börner, Moses Odubajo and Kadeem Harris to their ranks. The trio have all seamlessly settled in and looked sharp in pre-season. And as revealed by The Star last week, the EFL have now lifted the Owls' embargo and given the club the all-clear to trade freely once again.

"It is a big relief for the supporters, first and foremost," said Bullen. "It is promising for ourselves but I never saw it as a massive negative because I know the group of players that we have in the changing room and what they are capable of."

Despite being given permission by the EFL to sign players again, time is running out for the Owls to bolster their squad. The summer transfer window closes a week on Thursday.

Speaking after Wednesday's thrilling friendly with Espanyol, Bullen admitted they may have to consider signing another goalkeeper following Joe Wildsmith's injury setback.

He said: "Joe has a bad injury and is going to be out for a few months so we have to make sure we are not short in that area.

"That is one that we were not expecting to look at but there are two or three other areas where I think we would like to bring in a little more strength in depth, quality and legs as well."

Wildsmith sustained a knee injury in the Owls' friendly defeat to VFB Lubeck earlier this month. Bullen says the academy graduate will not require surgery to fix the problem.

"I think the initial two to three months is basically resting and keeping it splinted and after that he is going to have a couple of months recovery period," he said. "You are talking potentially five to six months, which is not ideal for the kid because he has trained tremendously well but it opens up avenues for us.

"He [Wildsmith] has a very positive mindset has the lad so we have got to get round him and help him through that."