Sheffield Wednesday: Should Darren Moore invoke the spirit of Gary Megson and Ryan Lowe to freshen up Owls forward line?

In Lee Gregory, Sheffield Wednesday have a forward to build their strike force on as they attempt to build towards automatic promotion next season.

Thursday, 19th May 2022, 4:30 pm

And after the painful near-miss of a day at Wembley this time out, many believe the Owls to be well placed to go for that second-season success that they’ve achieved the last couple of times they found themselves trying to climb out of the third tier.

In attack and in no small part due to Gregory’s influence, Wednesday got themselves going in the second half of the season.

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Cole Stockton and Vadaine Oliver are two powerful League One strikers that would offer Sheffield Wednesday something different next season.

But with Josh Windass injured, Sylla Sow out of the pitcure, Saido Berahino in and out of form and Florian Kamberi more the latter, the argument over who was best to partner him up front went on late into the campaign.

Berahino’s Wednesday future is up in the air heading towards the release of the club’s retained list and represents one of the more interesting questions raised as to where he and indeed the club see his future.

The Burundi international spent a long stint as a bit-part player in the Wednesday season, with his manager and mentor Darren Moore explaining that it took months to get him physically prepared for a league he repeatedly maintained has its own, unique challenges.

It raises the question that if Moore does seek to freshen up his forward options this summer, whether the addition of a striker with League One experience might be the way to go.

A few games into the 2011/12 season that last saw Wednesday promoted, Moore’s friend and former boss Gary Megson brought in Ryan Lowe from Bury. Unfashionable and underwhelming to many supporters at the outset of his signing, Lowe quickly won them over with his work rate and goals at crucial times.

Speaking to The Star back in 2020, Lowe described how the jump of having played at smaller clubs including Crewe and Chester injected even more desire in him to achieve at a club such as Wednesday.

Character, he said, was first and foremost when it came to ‘making it’ at such an expectant football club as is knowing a thing or two about the lower reaches of the Football League.

And it ponders the question; if Moore was to head down that road and bring in someone of Lowe’s ilk, who would he go for?

Gillingham’s out of contract centre-forward Vadaine Oliver is a Wednesday youth product and is known to be after a move north. Available for nothing, his is a physical and in-your-face style of play Wednesday may have lacked in recent times. He has 27 goals across his last two seasons in the third tier.

Morecambe man Cole Stockton has the same number of goals over the past two seasons and would no doubt cost a few quid, but may fit the mould if ‘gnarled lower league goal-getter’ is a profile Wednesday look to chase. A number of clubs were said to be interested in taking him in January and there would be outside interest no doubt.

It will be fascinating to see how Moore seeks to freshen-up the Wednesday forward line.