Wednesday fans still discuss Ben Marshall. The Blackburn Rovers winger was only with the Owls for five months but prior to signing for Rovers, there was always a hope that he might come back to us.
Delusions over, it’s plain to see that Marshall is flourishing across the Pennines. His manager Gary Bowyer was asked recently whether there was a better Championship player than Marshall, he said, “It would be very difficult to find one that is.”
Short-term loans like Marshall can make a big difference to clubs like Wednesday who can’t afford to pay out a lump sum. It’s a constant debate as to whether they do more harm than good but there’s merit on both sides of the argument.
Some of our better loan signings like Kenwyne Jones, Danny Batth, Scott Carson and Connor Wickham have provided us with much needed quality at just the right time. Marshall and Michail Antonio provided the creativity that got the Owls promoted in 2011.
Then you look on the other side of loans where Premier League clubs use us as a rehabilitation centre for their long-term injured and long forgotten. Gary Taylor-Fletcher will go down in Hillsborough history as a bad loan signing along with Enoch Showunmi, Jimmy Smith, Warren Feeney and my personal favourite Brad Jones. The list could go on.
Jay Bothroyd fits into his own category as he had the ability but his ego just didn’t allow him to use it.
Whatever your thoughts on loan signings, the window is now shut until January, a mere few weeks away. With McGugan we hopefully have the creative outlet we’ve been screaming for. Maybe he could be a name we whisper in revered tones in the future. He’s a got a few weeks at least to make a start.