The return of Keiren Westwood? - Four players who could benefit from Garry Monk’s Sheffield Wednesday departure

Several of Sheffield Wednesday’s players are said to be very surprised by the exit of Garry Monk as manager this week, but there are a few who could possibly benefit from his departure.

Tuesday, 10th November 2020, 12:00 pm

Monk was very fair in terms of giving chances to various players over the course of his tenure at the club, and it is understood that he had a very good relationship with the players that he was working with, many of whom are thought to be disappointed by his exit from Hillsborough this week.

Now though, with Dejphon Chansiri looking for his replacement, there are a handful who may have a better time of things under whoever comes in next, depending on who comes in next and what direction they’re looking to take the team in.

We took a look at some of the players who may get a few more minutes under their belt under new management.

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Keiren Westwood

The obvious one, really. Westwood had fallen severely down the pecking order under Monk for the best part of a year, and you have to go back to November 2019 to find his last appearance for the club when he started the 2-1 defeat to West Bromwich Albion. He’s been training with the U23s for some time now.

As a fan favourite and one of the most experienced players in the team, a new manager may look to try and reintegrate ‘Westy’ to the first team alongside Cameron Dawson and Joe Wildsmith – he would need to be registered and given a squad number though.

Monk wasn’t the first manager that Westwood fell out of favour under, with Lee Bullen and Steve Bruce having both reinstated him to the XI after managers before them had opted to use Dawson or Wildsmith.

Could Keiren Westwood come back into the Wednesday setup under the new manager? (Photographer Rich Linley/CameraSport)

Jordan Rhodes

As another experienced forward, the new manager may also look at Jordan Rhodes’ goal record prior to joining Wednesday and think that he needs a longer run in the side to show what he can do.

He’s an old-fashioned centre forward who does really offer too much more than his finishing ability, but that may be seen as a positive for whoever comes in to replace Monk, who only played him for more than 76 minutes on one occasion – when he scored a hattrick against Nottingham Forest.

Rhodes has struggled for form for some time now, though, and his lack of goals is clearly a worry given the money that was spent on him to bring him on board just a few years ago.

Matt Penney

It looked as though Penney would be making quite an impact this season after his return from St. Pauli in Germany, but after bursting back onto the scene against Walsall and then starting against Watford, the Owls academy product fell back down the pecking order again.

He hasn’t made a single matchday squad for almost a month now, and a new manager would give him the chance to make a good first impression as he seeks to get himself back in contention again.

Manuel Hidalgo

The young Argentine did step up into the first team over preseason, but then wasn’t given a squad number with the first team when some of his teammates from the U23s were given the chance to strut their stuff in the Carabao Cup etc.

His position as a number 10 or wide forward doesn’t really seem to suit the 3-5-2 formation that Monk had adopted, and he may be seen as an exciting young prospect that could add something to the Wednesday attack under a new manager with a different setup.

Whether the youngster, who turned 21 this year, is ready for first team football remains to be seen at this point in time, however he is a player that many fans are hoping to see a bit more of following the decision to bring him from Triestina in Italy just under a year ago.

A bit on squad registration...

Where Hidalgo and Westwood are concerned, the two can still be registered at any stage should the new manager – whoever he may be – wish to register them.

The EFL regulations state that player registrations are allowed outside of a window in the following situations:

- Subject always to the provisions of Regulation 43.3, after the expiry of each Transfer Window in each Season registrations of Players and transfers of registrations will, except as permitted in Regulation 57, be declined or will only be approved:

- Where the Player is an Out of Registration Player;

- Where the Player was last registered as or is being registered as a Scholar or Academy Player (subject to such conditions by which the Club making the application and the Player shall be bound); and/or

- If agreed by The League (including where the Player was last registered with a Club (or club) which has ceased to trade, including during the Closed Period) subject to such conditions as determined by The League and by which the Club making the application and the Player shall be bound.

For reference, an ‘Out of Registration’ player is define as ‘any Player who has not at any time been registered with a Member Club (or club), or if he has been so registered his registration (including as a Contract Player or Non-Contract Player, or equivalent registration in any other league) expired or was cancelled at any time prior to the end of a Transfer Window’.

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