Sheffield Wednesday stance on free agent market revealed amid injury crisis - Lewis Wing departure detailed

Sheffield Wednesday will likely make do with their current squad in taking on their League One promotion ambition despite another wave on injuries.

Friday, 4th February 2022, 3:07 pm

Four players – Harlee Dean, Josh Windass, FIsayo Dele-Bashiru and Tyreece John-Jules – all went down injured this week and there was also the deadline day departure of Lewis Wing to contend with.

Wednesday manager Darren Moore admitted during their last major injury crisis that he would consider a look in the free agent market and did so, bringing in Nathaniel Mendez-Laing before launching an effort to sign Adrian Mariappa.

There had been unsubstantiated talk on social media of Moore considering a move for his former player Hal Robson-Kanu, with whom he worked at West Brom.

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Fisayo Dele-Bashiru is one of Sheffield Wednesday's injured players.

But it seems it would take something extraordinary to be pushed across their desk if they were to do the same this time around.

Moore told The Star: “Looking at it now, unless something was to jump out at us that was a stonewall, crazy no-brainer, then we would do. But the truth now is that to go into the free agent market we'd end up spending six to eight weeks to get them fit and up to speed anyway.

“We’re better off just waiting for who is coming off the injury table really. By the time you’d get anyone in you’d have to work with them, then give them volume, then game time and then bring them into the first team. Even then you’d have to give them five or six games to get them into a rhythm.

“By that time it’s the end of the season, so it’s about getting on with what we’ve got. From the start of the season we’ve been patching things up and moving them around and we’ll continue to do that.”

Wing’s recall by Middlesbrough and subsequent transfer to Wycombe Wanderers was completed in the final minutes of the January transfer window, prompting fears Wednesday had been left disadvantaged with no time left to replace him.

But Moore said Wednesday were set on making do with their squad and spoke confidently about their ability to cover the midfield area, which is now two men short considering Dele-Bashiru’s injury.

“It happened so late in the day,” Moore said on the 26-year-old’s switch, revealing Wycombe’s interest had only been registered a couple of hours before the 11pm deadline.

“We wish Lewis every success. He’s been a real model professional in terms of his approach at Wednesday. I told him he’s helped us in terms of where we are and we can’t forget the work that he’s done.

“I don’t think it was so much bringing someone in that area. We have got people in the team that can show that versatility and drop into midfield.

“At the time we were sold on the fact that the squad was to remain as it was. Such was the lateness in the transfer window at that time, there was a chance it wouldn’t happen because of the timescales of getting the paperwork in.”