Youth has to be at the heart of Sheffield Wednesday recruitment - Alan Biggs

Sheffield Wednesday took the experienced route for recruitment last summer.
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It was fully justifiable and indeed justified by promotion.

They had to get out of League One at the second attempt if at all possible and signings were geared to that short-term need. It worked.

Congratulations and no recriminations on that score, even for being left with an ageing squad.

Sheffield Wednesday chairman Dejphon Chansiri at the unveiling of new boss Xisco MunozSheffield Wednesday chairman Dejphon Chansiri at the unveiling of new boss Xisco Munoz
Sheffield Wednesday chairman Dejphon Chansiri at the unveiling of new boss Xisco Munoz
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However, a year on the club finds itself in a very different place and not just because it is back in the Championship.

In my view, a more balanced approach is required factoring in the longer term as well as the short.

Not least among reasons for that, hand on heart, I don’t foresee a promotion campaign this time. Much as I’d like to be proved wrong.

And not that there is any harm in the club’s owner aiming for it, as per this column last week.

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However, Wednesday appear to be at a pivotal point from which they go forwards or backwards.

The direction depends largely on how far-sighted their policies. It can’t be, in my opinion, another push for experienced, proven performers at this level, not that it can be afforded evidently.

Last year, that had a high chance of success; not so much this time.

What is needed instead was highlighted by a recent Championship valuation table produced by

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Wednesday were bottom in terms of the estimated worth of their squad, albeit that this was a subjective judgment and the Owls are currently carrying the smallest squad.

But if you marry this assessment with Wednesday having the highest average age, at 28.5, it’s clear the two aspects are not unconnected.

It’s been obvious for some time that Wednesday need freshening with youth. Now a better balance is required. It’s a tricky one to achieve and not just because the overriding aim is promotion.

With so many unknown factors, including a new team off the field as well as on it, the shape of the season is difficult to gauge and a fight against relegation is not inconceivable.

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But, supposing the reality lies somewhere in the middle, the Owls could do with having a healthy number of players of marketable age. It’s a safety net they lack right now.

A breakneck attempt at another promotion could prove dangerous for what follows.

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