Sheffield Wednesday rumours: Adrian Mariappa - The former Watford and Crystal Palace man linked with Owls move

It’s no secret that Sheffield Wednesday are hopeful of signing a free agent defender.

Monday, 22nd November 2021, 9:22 am

That defender, according to reports, is Adrian Mariappa.

But who is Mariappa, why is he a good fit for Wednesday and what are the chances of him signing before Monday’s 5pm deadline?

Who is he and why is he a good fit?

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Adrian Mariappa is a 5”10, 35-year-old defender who can play at centre-half or as a right-back.

He has been out of contract since his Bristol City deal ran dry in the summer, but has continued playing for his country – Darren Moore’s nation Jamaica – for whom he has played six times this year.

Moore has spoken about the need for any new addition to hit the ground running and to be able to start playing straight away. Mariappa appears to be match fit and played twice last week.

What’s he done?

Former Watford man Adrian Mariappa has emerged as a possible transfer target for Sheffield Wednesday.

Mariappa has had a long and storied career, mainly in the Championship, but has also played in the Premier League for three different clubs.

Starting out at his local club Watford way back in 2005 and tasting Championship playoff success later that season, he became a first team regular in the Hornets’ 2006/07 relegation season from the top tier and spent five years as a highly-rated young ever-present before making the switch to Reading to head back to the Premier League in 2012.

On the Royals’ relegation, he made the switch to top tier Crystal Palace, where he was a 2016 FA Cup runner-up and enjoyed three seasons before heading back to his beloved Hornets.

Another close shave with the FA Cup came in 2019 when his Watford side lost out in the final. He spent last season with Bristol City and has been a free agent since.

What would he add to Wednesday?

Experience, and another body in what is a manic defensive injury crisis.

Mariappa is on the older side of his career now but is a calm head and a quality operator who already has a promotion on his CV – a factor that cannot be underestimated as Wednesday look to fire themselves further into contention for the automatic spots.

What are the chances of Wednesday signing him?

Moore revealed yesterday that the Owls are battling a Championship club and a club from abroad for Mariappa’s signature.

He’s never played ‘up north’ before which could well prove to a be a sticking point but has spoken about the desire to get back into the game.

The Owls had hoped to get him in in time for Saturday’s clash at Accrington Stanley and have self-imposed a deadline of Monday at 5pm for a decision from Mariappa.

What else?

Having made his international debut in 2012, Mariappa has 58 caps for Jamaica, the birthplace of mother, and was a Gold Cup runner-up in 2015. He was also eligible to play for England and Fiji, the birthplace of his father. He turned down a call-up to Fiji in 2010.

A fiercely committed individual, while in academy football Mariappa trained with athletics and basketball clubs to improve his sprinting and jumping techniques.

He was voted Watford player of the season for 2011/12 when alongside stellar performances he turned down a move to Premier League clubs Newcastle United and Wigan Athletic.