Sheffield Wednesday: The man who convinced Joost van Aken to join Owls

Carlos Carvalhal
Carlos Carvalhal
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New arrival Joost van Aken has revealed how Owls head coach Carlos Carvalhal persuaded him to move to the Championship club.

The centre-back joined Wednesday from Dutch club SC Heerenveen for a fee believed to be in the region of £4m today.

The 23-year-old, who has penned a four-year contract, told The Star: “I spoke with the manager and the conversation was really good.

“He was very positive and told me what he thinks of me as a player and what he expects.

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“The manager has a good image of me. It was important he wanted me and I have to show what I can do.”

Van Aken said he learned of the Owls’ interest in his services over a month ago

A number of European clubs, including Lazio and Konyaspor, considered signing the defender.

But van Aken, who came through the youth system at Heerenveen, racking up 90 appearances for the Eredivisie side, said: “There were some clubs interested in me from other competitions but it was an easy decision to join Wednesday.

“I know how ambitious the club are about going to the Premier League and I want to be part of that.

“From when I heard they were interested I was totally convinced that I wanted to come here.”

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Despite Wednesday’s indifferent start to the 2017/18 season, van Aken sees no reason why Carvalhal’s team can’t challenge for the automatic promotion places.

“If we get into the top-six and get promoted to the Premier League, then of course there is no problem,” he said. “But it would be a better situation if we finished in the top two positions and directly get promoted.

“We have to believe the top two is possible otherwise it will never happen.

“I believe we can finish in the top two and I’m sure everyone in the squad feels the same way.”

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