Sheffield Wednesday transfer news: Stats gurus suggest Owls should go after ex-£1m Bolton Wanderers man to replace Everton loanee Lewis Gibson

The transfer window wheels are already in motion at Sheffield Wednesday, with focus outside the club ever-so-slightly starting to shift towards who they might look to bring in to bolster their promotion chances.

By Alex Miller
Monday, 8th November 2021, 12:03 pm

The Owls have battled a raft of injuries throughout the season so far, not least at the back, where the likes of Dominic Iorfa, Sam Hutchinson and Lewis Gibson face long stints on the sidelines.

Last month Wednesday boss Darren Moore begrudgingly admitted conversations would be had over Gibson’s future and that he might be sent back to the Premier League club.

The former Reading man has made only two appearances in a spell decimated by injury.

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While the Owls are unlikely to be able to spend any cash when it comes to January, the mulling over of former Premier League winger Nathaniel Mendez-Laing suggests there is space in the squad for further investment.

And should they have to replace Gibson, the data gurus at renowned scouting service Smarterscout have delivered a fascinating recommendation in 29-year-old former Bolton Wanderers centre-half Mark Connolly.

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Owned by Dundee United, Connolly, a left-footed ball-playing defender with experience of playing on the left of a back three, would appear to tick many of Moore’s boxes and is coming to the end of his time recovering from injury at Dunfermline.

Former Bolton Wanderers defender Mark Connolly would be a good fit to replace the injured Lewis Gibson at Sheffield Wednesday, data suggests.

“For Sheffield Wednesday, one player in particular who might be a good fit is Mark Connolly,” said Dan Altman,founder of the Smarterscout football analytics platform.

“He was coming off a cruciate ligament injury when he went on loan to Dunfermline at the start of this season, and the loan apparently ends in January. He had a great season for Dundee United in 2019-20, with outstanding dribbling skill and exceptional ball retention judged at a League One standard by our algorithms.

“He can pass up the pitch or take the ball forward himself, and he's played quite a lot in a back three.”

A former Republic of Ireland youth international, Connolly was reared at Wolverhampton Wanderers before making a £1m move to Bolton aged 18.

He is no stranger to League One having spent two spells at Crawley Town and has also played for Kilmarnock.