Wednesday’s transfer business has been widely criticised by supporters, ex-players and the media over the last two years.
Many observers feel the Championship club have gone backwards, bringing in quantity over quality since reaching the Play-Off Final in May 2016. With the possible exception of Adam Reach, the rest of Wednesday’s signings have arguably not improved the starting eleven.
Although chairman Dejphon Chansiri has pumped millions of pounds into strengthening the first-team, shelling out big transfer fees and wages on players such as Almen Abdi, Jordan Rhodes and Joost van Aken, some people have accused the Owls’ hierarchy of not spending money wisely in the transfer market.
Wednesday received plenty of flak last summer over their inability to land a centre-half before the start of the season. Their top target was Cardiff City’s Sean Morrison but the club failed to to get that deal over the line. Chansiri argues that defenders cost significantly more now than they did when he bought the club three years ago but accepts the Owls have not always managed to capture their first choice options in certain departments of the team.
Nonetheless, expectations were high heading into this campaign following back-to-back play-offs.
However, Wednesday are languishing near the bottom of the table, having recorded just two victories from their last 21 league matches.
As far is Chansiri is concerned, their lowly league position is not down to their recruitment drive. He points to the club’s lengthy injury list.
Keiren Westwood, Kieran Lee, Ross Wallace, Marco Matias, Gary Hooper and Fernando Forestieri are currently out of action and the Owls have had to cope without Tom Lees, van Aken, Sam Hutchinson and Barry Bannan for long periods.
Chansiri, who strongly denied that some players are ineligiple to play due to impending bonus payments in Friday’s Steering Group Meeting at Hillsborough, said: “I don’t think our recruitment has been wrong but the players are still human beings. Sometimes they can play good. Sometimes they can play bad.
“I believe we have done good recruitment otherwise we would not have gone to Wembley and finished fourth.
“We have been unlucky with a lot of injuries (this season). We also had a lot of injuries in the first year but nobody noticed. At that time, we had a loan window but now there is no loan window. It doesn’t mean that in the last two years we have not had injuries.”
Slowly but surely Wednesday’s injury situation is beginning to clear up. Van Aken, Hutchinson and Bannan are all back in full training and the trio may feature in Saturday’s clash at Leeds United. Bannan was due to play in tonight’s Under-23s match against Burnley but the fixture was called off because of a waterlogged pitch.