Sheffield Wednesday starlet has ‘shocked’ Xisco - could cure transfer headache after knock-back

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New Sheffield Wednesday manager Xisco left their pre-season training camp in Spain over the weekend with a far clearer idea of the capabilities within the squad - with some players perhaps having impressed more than others.

The Owls took on two Spanish sides in Real Murcia and CD Eldense, returning a 0-0 draw and a 4-0 defeat amid a gruelling programme designed to test the players physically.

A handful of younger players caught the eye in those matches and could well be given more opportunity in this evening’s friendly clash at Doncaster Rovers. The Owls also welcome Premier League Luton Town to Hillsborough on Saturday before their Championship opener at home to Southampton on August 4.

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Xisco has admitted there is a lot of work to be done on the squad before they reach that date. Reece James has returned on a permanent basis, with Chilean international Juan Delgado having doubled Wednesday’s list of incomings this week.

The Spaniard had admitted that former Owls loanee Bailey Peacock-Farrell was of interest to the club - he has since joined Danish side Aarhus - and has openly discussed the possible pursuit of a goalkeeper to challenge Cameron Dawson.

Argentinian goalkeeper Axel Werner was another name linked with interest from Wednesday, as has West Brom stopper David Button.

But the performances of highly-rated teenager Pierce Charles have offered Xisco food for thought - with the Owls boss describing him as ‘a very good surprise’.

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The former Manchester City academy man isa beefed-up six-foot-one and has performed well. Adept with the ball at feet, he has slotted nicely into Wednesday’s pre-season efforts. Aged just 17, a decision will have to be made on whether he is the man to step up from the third-choice slot he occupied for much of the last campaign.

Xisco went as far as to suggest Charles’ tender age will not stand in the way of involvement in the Owls first team.

“He’s a very good keeper, very good,” Xisco told the media in Spain. “He’s safe, he understands what we need with his feet, and I’m very happy with him.

“I didn’t know anything about him when I came here, but it’s a very good surprise because he is a very good keeper.

“The age for me isn’t a problem - you’re either ready or you’re not, that is the question. We have two very good keepers, and we make the decision. The age isn’t a problem.”

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