Sheffield Wednesday: Owls mission for Reda

The Green 'Un Online: Owls latest news.
The Green 'Un Online: Owls latest news.
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One of the jobs facing the Owls this season is to get more out of Reda Johnson, writes Paul Thompson.

That may seem a strange comment, considering that he scored six goals last season - a remarkable total for a left back.

Reda Johnson

Reda Johnson

But the genial giant was able to play only 17 games and make only one start in the vital final month of the campaign.

He record was a bit better the previous season: 30 appearances and a goal tally of seven

Injury has struck again and kept him out of all the pre-season friendlies: this time it has been tendinitis in his ankle, not the stress fracture that bugged him last season.

Imagine what huge impact he may make if he can play week in, week out.

He is in the best possible hands with the club’s medical and physio department, which has done such a good job in injury prevention and management.

For example Chris Kirkland and Anthony Gardner arrived with injury histories, but between them they played 85 games last season.

Inevitably though are some problems that cannot be avoided.

Dave Jones has admitted that it has been frustrating to lose Johnson, Lewis Buxton and Jacques Maghoma for the bulk of the friendly programme.

Maghoma, in his one public appearance, at Stockport, showed that here is another sprinter, joining Jermaine Johnson, Michail Antonio and Jeremy Helan.

But throw in Reda’s pace and power, and aerial threat at set pieces, and the armoury is even sharper.

It is also something of a concern that his six goals last season made him the club’s joint top scorer in the league, with JJ, Miguel Llera and a loan player, Leroy Lita. There was also a goal in the Capital One Cup for JJ.

Antonio, who scored eight in the league and one in the cup, was top scorer though he played for most of the season out wide and missed the last nine games because of injury.

So the need for at least one goalscoring striker to join the club seems obvious - and it is issue that Dave Jones has been seeking to address, in addition to the signing of Atdhe Nuhiu, a target man who is just beginning to settle in.

Rafa Floro is a young, promising left back, on the small side compared to the club’s other main defenders, a decent footballer with a good strike in his left foot, but rated more as one for the future than the present.

The move to sign Kamil Zayatte stems from Jones’ belief that centre defence is under strength, with Gardner, Llera and Martin Taylor the only specialised centre halves. It is more usual to have four.

Generally. ins and outs seem likely before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.

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