Low-risk, potentially high reward: Sheffield Wednesday's signings need time but feel a lot smarter... - Joe Crann's column
Sheffield Wednesday signed 14 senior players over the summer that cost them a grand total of £0 in transfer fees.
Granted, the Owls will still have one of the bigger wage bills in League One, but the nature of their business since the end of last season means that – for the most part – it all looks a bit risk-free from Wednesday. Which is not something we’ve been able to say much in recent years.
You’re never going to have a 100% success rate with new signings. When you bring in as many as Darren Moore has done at Hillsborough, the chances are that at least a handful are not going to have the desired impact – some, unfortunately, may not have much impact at all.
We’ve certainly seen enough of that over the years.
But the difference this time around is that there are now huge transfer sums, no bloated wages, no long-term contracts to fulfil. So with that in mind, if things don’t work out for a few of them then you can shrug your shoulders and move on.
They want things to work out, though. This team is going to need time to settle, there’s no two ways about it, but they’ve got lofty ambitions.
I’ve spoken to a number of Wednesday players this season, and the aim doesn’t seem to be just promotion. It’s not about the Play-Offs or finishing second. They want to win League One.
“We’re going for number one, to be honest.” That’s what Mide Shodipo told me on Thursday, before going on to say, “We have to get promoted. That’s the aim this season - we just want to get number one.”
Shodipo is one of six loanees at Hillsborough this season, one who admitted he’d potentially be open to a permanent move if things work out over the course of the campaign, but like everybody else he’s got to earn his place – both in the immediate and more long-term future.
On paper, Wednesday have one of the best sides in the division this year... We all know football’s not played on paper, but what is for sure is that the Owls feel like they’re starting to get on a steady ground again – and that’s to be welcomed.