Sheffield Wednesday: Comeback ace earns new offer

Jose Semedo played a key part in the Owls' revival
Jose Semedo played a key part in the Owls' revival
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Jose Semedo is the only member of the out-of-contract old guard from League One days who is to be offered a new deal by the Owls.

It means that he is being rewarded for his renaissance under Stuart Gray after losing his Championship place when Dave Jones was manager.

But four other members of Jones’ promotion-winning set-up, Reda Johnson, Miguel Llera, Jermaine Johnson and David Prutton, are being released as their contracts end this summer, along with more recent signings Anthony Gardner and Martin Taylor and young keepers Adam Davies and Arron Jameson.

As well as discussing a new contract with Semedo’s agent, Wednesday have confirmed, as expected, that talks will be held with the representatives of Chris Kirkland, about a another deal, and centre halves Oguchi Onyewu and Glenn Loovens, about extentions to their short-term agreements.

None of the decisions is a big surprise as all the released outfield players have either had injury problems or played relatively few games this season.

Semedo’s Hillsborough future looked in doubt when he was out of the side for the second half of last season and for the opening weeks of the 2013-14 campaign.

But Gray teamed him in midfield with Kieran Lee and their partnership played a key role in the club’s revival, though Semedo has missed the last three months of the season with an ankle injury.

Semedo and Kirkland have said that they want to stay but clearly that will also depend on the contract talks.

Some fans may be surprised by the release of Reda Johnson, but, hit by injuries, he has made only 38 appearances in the last two seasons.

Gray wants to build his own, more successful team after the club fought against relegation in their first two years back in the Championship.

Loan players Damian Martinez, Leon Best, Sam Hutchinson, Benik Afobe and Andelko Savic have returned to their clubs.

Gray feels that the Owls saw some of the best of Best and has not ruled out a Hillsborough return for the striker, probably on loan if it was to happen, for the cost of a full transfer could be prohibitive: he has two years of a lucrative Blackburn deal remaining and cost Rovers £3m.

The Owls chief, also not ruling out follow-up interest in Martinez and Hutchinson, said: “They (loan players) made us into a better team; hopefully something might happen in the future as well.”

Onyewu and Loovens have been non-committal about their futures. They have been successes at centre half and may have attracted interest from elsewhere.

Llera, Jermaine Johnson and David Prutton have used social media to say fond farewells to the club and fans.

Johnson is also on record as saying that he may go back to Jamaica when his English career is over.

There is speculation that Prutton may return to Coventry, where he played in every game during his loan spell this season. He recently spoke favourably about the Sky Blues and manager Steven Pressley.