Sheffield Wednesday’s new number 9? Analysts recommend perfect Steven Fletcher replacements

There are new faces aplenty, and both new attackers have scored, but Sheffield Wednesday’s search for a new number 9 are ongoing as they seek a direct replacement for Steven Fletcher.

By Joe Crann
Wednesday, 16th September 2020, 12:31 pm

‘Fletch’ was the Owls’ top scorer last season, but missed a chunk of the season due to injury and then moved on to join Stoke City after rejecting a new contract at Hillsborough. Wednesday signed Elias Kachunga and Josh Windass to bolster their strikeforce, but neither is seen as an out-and-out striker or target man – that vacancy is yet to be filled.

We got in touch with football analytics company, smarterscout, to find out who they thought would be the best option for Garry Monk and his recruitment team as they hunt for that sought-after forward – and it turns out that Kenneth Zohore isn’t one of them.

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Speaking to The Star, Dan Altman, creator of smarterscout, said, “Steven Fletcher is that rare player who can operate as an aerial target man, create for others, and work hard off the ball to disrupt opposition moves and recover possession.

“Sheffield Wednesday missed out on perhaps the best chance to replace Fletcher when Armand Gnanduillet left Blackpool on a free transfer to join Altay SK in the Turkish second tier. Gnanduillet shares many of Fletcher's attributes in terms of playing style and is very good in the air. He's also a better finisher than Fletcher and only 28 years old.”

So with the French forward off the list of potential options, who could the Owls look at who could fill the void left by Fletcher after he decided that his future lay elsewhere.

“As an alternative…” Altman explained. “Wednesday may wish to consider Jean-Pierre Nsame, the 27-year-old Cameroonian-French striker who won the Swiss Super League with Young Boys last term. He's also quite active in the air, though not quite as dominant as Fletcher, and is an outstanding finisher.”

Jean-Pierre Nsame is said to be a good option to replace Steven Fletcher at Sheffield Wednesday. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)

Nsame wouldn’t come cheap though given his exploits in Switzerland, and we all know that the Owls aren’t exactly throwing money about at the moment, so what about a cheaper – albeit a little bit older – option for SWFC?

The smarterscout creator said, “A less expensive option would be Dame N'Doye, the former Hull and Sunderland striker from Senegal who's out of contract after leaving Copenhagen, providing he can still get a work permit. He's 35 years old but still had excellent attacking output for the Championship in our league-adjusted ratings for last season.

“Both Nsame and N'Doye work hard off the ball.”

Ndoye doesn’t really fit the young, hungry and dynamic profile that the Owls boss has been looking for, but it all depends on who is and isn’t available as we head into the final month of the transfer window.

Two potential Steven Fletcher alternatives for Sheffield Wednesday.

It remains to be seen exactly who Wednesday will bring in, if anybody, to lead the line before the transfer window closes, but what is for sure is that Monk and the club are working very hard to try and get something over the line as soon as possible to make sure that their impressive start to the season doesn’t become just a flash in the pan.

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via @smarterscout

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via @smarterscout