Sheffield Wednesday: Why Barry Bannan might be relieved to have Will Vaulks on his team

Barry Bannan might well be relieved to be playing on the same team as Will Vaulks next season.
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Sheffield Wednesday’s talisman is well known to fellow midfielder Vaulks, who has arrived at S6 from Championship outfit Cardiff City where he spent the last three years.

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"I have spent a good few games chasing Barry Bannan around the pitch trying to kick him,” confessed Wales international Vaulks, aged 28.

New Sheffield Wednesday signing Will Vaulks. Photo: Steve Ellis/SWFC.New Sheffield Wednesday signing Will Vaulks. Photo: Steve Ellis/SWFC.
New Sheffield Wednesday signing Will Vaulks. Photo: Steve Ellis/SWFC.
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“He is a competitive player who leads people, so it will be nice to be on the other side of it and, hopefully, play alongside him and develop a good bond.”

Bannan netted nine goals in League One last term – including several long-range wonder strikes – and provided 12 assists in his best-ever campaign in front of goal.

Vaulks, who himself is closing in on 50 career goals, added: "He’s a fantastic player, I’m well aware of Barry’s ability. He had a great season last season and I’m sure he’ll be hoping to do that again.

"He brings the best out in people and hopefully we have a good bond and can help the football club, which is the only aim. The only aim is to help the football club get back in the Championship.”

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Vaulks is understood to have signed a two-year deal with the Owls and has experience of winning promotion from League One with their South Yorkshire rivals Rotherham United.

He was part of the Millers side that beat Shrewsbury Town in the 2018 play-off final.

While Vaulks insisted he hadn't been privy to conversations about him replacing any departing players, he would appear on the face of it to be a suitable replacement for Massimo Luongo, who has left the club.

Notwithstanding his ability to get up and down the pitch, Luongo played a deeper lying role in a midfield three along with Bannan and George Byers towards the back end of last season, which coincided with a good run of results during the run-in.

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Discussing his other new central midfield colleague, who scored six goals in the league after January, Vaulks said: “George Byers also finished the season brilliantly with some great goals and it's a squad full of talent that should be higher up than it is and in that league above."