There was always a big summer expected at Wednesday on the back of relegation into League One… They wouldn’t be able to afford Championship wages anymore, and a good chunk of the squad was coming to the end of their current deals.
Now, with the retained list being made public, fans can start to look ahead to Darren Moore’s rebuild over the coming months, but what is the state of play at present with only a select few players having deals that run beyond the end of this campaign.
Who is actually under contract?
Cameron Dawson, Joe Wildsmith, Julian Börner, Chey Dunkley, Dominic Iorfa, Ciaran Brennan, Sam Hutchinson, Liam Palmer, Alex Hunt, Massimo Luongo, Barry Bannan, Fisayo Dele-Bashiru, Callum Paterson, Josh Windass and Andre Green.
The only contract talks that Wednesday confirmed was the fact that they’re in talks with Osaze Urhoghide about extending his spell at the club.
He’s out of contract come the end of June, and The Star understands that he is open to the idea of sticking around despite relegation into League One, however there is growing interest in him from the Premier League, Championship and overseas.
There’s also a strong likelihood that many members of the U23 setup will be part of the first team when preseason begins in a few weeks’ time, with the likes of Liam Waldock, Ryan Galvin, Luke Jackson and Declan Thompson, as well as Josh Dawodu and Charles Hagan if they sign new deals, set to be given a chance to impress.
Moore may also give an opportunity for recently-promoted U23s such as Alex Bonnington, Paulo Aguas and Will Trueman to show what they can do.
Who has gone?
Kadeem Harris, Elias Kachunga, Tom Lees, Matt Penney, Moses Odubajo, Joey Pelupessy, Adam Reach, Jordan Rhodes and Keiren Westwood will no longer be players come July 1st, while Liam Shaw has already agreed to join Celtic and Joost van Aken is heading to Zulte Waragem in Belgium.
Izzy Brown and Jack Marriott will return to Chelsea and Derby County respectively after very difficult loan spells at Hillsborough.
So what now?
Wednesday pretty much need to strengthen every position, really.
They’ve got two goalkeepers, five centre backs, a right back, several centre midfielders and a handful of attackers – there is plenty of room for growth of the squad, and – given the struggle of League One – depth is going to be needed.
Top of the list will be a left back and a striker given the fact that young Galvin is the only left-sided defender left at the club, and that Windass is the only out-and-out striker remaining on the books.
But on top of that, a goalkeeper to challenge Wildsmith and Dawson would be well received following Westwood’s exit, and wide players are an absolute must following the exit of fullbacks Odubajo and Penney, as well as the likes of Reach, Harris and – to some extent – Kachunga.
Moore will already be working hard behind the scenes as he scours through his little black book for signings that could do the job, and it’s pretty safe to say that a full squad rebuild is on the way, with every position up for grabs.