Sheffield Wednesday don’t need sexy signings – they need reliable ones: Joe Crann’s column

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A League One Sheffield Wednesday signing established League One footballers? Surely not… Sounds like a crazy idea.

We’re in the first week of the transfer window, and the Owls are already two signings to the good in positions that Darren Moore wanted – centre back and goalkeeper.

The signing of both Ben Heneghan and David Stockdale hasn’t been met by much fanfare amongst the Wednesday fanbase… Maybe it’s because they’re not big names, maybe it’s because they’re not young up-and-comers. For some, they’re just not ‘sexy’ enough.

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But Wednesday don’t need ‘sexy’ signings this summer. They need reliable ones.

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One criticism tabled at the Owls last summer was that they didn’t have enough League One experience in the side. There were plenty of Championship players, but not a whole load who knew how to get the business done in the third tier.

Between them, Heneghan and Stockdale have played around 200 games in League One, and they’re a battle-hardened duo that played 41 and 46 league matches respectively last season for AFC Wimbledon and Wycombe Wanderers.

I completely understand the desire for exciting signings, and I fully expect there to be some, but it needs to be a summer of balance for Wednesday. Experience and youth, exciting prospects and steady performers.

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Sheffield Wednesday have already made a couple of signings this summer.Sheffield Wednesday have already made a couple of signings this summer.
Sheffield Wednesday have already made a couple of signings this summer.

It’s a naff when you see a couple of new players have their naysayers before they’ve even kicked a ball – especially when we don’t know what part of the grand scheme they fit into. It’s safe to say that Wednesday’s recruitment team have seen a fair bit more of their signings than any of us have.

Nothing’s a guarantee in this sport of ours. Players fit in some places and don’t in others… How many ‘great’ signings have come in and left without even making a mark?

There’s a long way to go until the transfer window closes, and there’s plenty of work to be done, but I think it’s probably safe to say that every player that comes in deserves a clean slate and to be judged on what they do in Wednesday colours rather than what year they were born or what club they played for before.

After all, I don’t remember much noise when Lee Bullen and Lee Peacock came aboard in 2004 – and they did alright, didn’t they?