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Where Should Wednesday Strengthen?

Where Should Wednesday Strengthen?

After the play-off heartbreak for Wednesday losing to Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town last week, friend of Owlsonline, Elliott Jackson, has been thinking of player recruitment and shares his thoughts with us.

That result of course leaves the Owls facing another season in the Championship, as they look to gain promotion to the Premier League. In what is expected to be another highly competitive league next season, it is imperative we bolster the squad, if we are to go one step further in the next campaign.

In positive news, Wednesday have now confirmed that manager Carlos Carvalhal has signed a new contract. In his two-year spell at Wednesday, he has guided us to two top six finishes, including last year’s play-off final. Although the length of the deal has not been officially confirmed, reports indicate he has signed another one year-deal, some suggesting it could be two years, either way the deal seems to suit both parties.

After consecutive top six finishes, the aim next year has to be for automatic promotion. Owner Dejphon Chansiri has already heavily invested in the playing staff since taking over at Hillsborough two years ago, and there’s no doubt he will do the same this summer. If Wednesday are to challenge for the top two, the focus needs be on bringing in quality, not quantity. They already boast one of the largest and most talented squads in the league, so it is vital that they add that little bit of extra class.

Here’s my take on where Wednesday need to improve their squad:

Central defence

Over the summer, my top priority would be to sign a top-quality centre-back. With Glenn Loovens now 33, the club need to look at bringing in a replacement. I still think Wednesday should keep Loovens, as he has been a great captain at the club, and would provide fantastic back-up. Given his age, it is no surprise that Loovens has started to become more susceptible to injury, so I think it is now time to find a new, younger partner for Tom Lees.

Whispers coming out of Hillsborough have linked the club with Newcastle United defender Grant Hanley. The former Blackburn captain only signed for the North-East club last season, but has struggled to make an impact, making only five starts last campaign. With Newcastle securing promotion to the Premier League, another move looks to be on the cards, he could be a fantastic addition to the Owls’ squad. The 25-year-old was linked with a move to S6 before he joined Newcastle, so it would be of little surprise if Carvalhal was to go back in for him a second time.

Another potential target could be Chelsea defender Michael Hector. The former Reading defender has spent this season out on loan at German side Eintracht Frankfurt, where has made 22 appearances. Hector knows the league having played for Reading, and is also blessed with good pace, which Wednesday currently lack in the heart of defence. With Hector, I think there is a strong chance of getting him on a season-long loan, with the option to buy, which would suit both clubs.

A Winger

For me, the Wednesday squad has a severe lack of natural pace in attacking areas. Ross Wallace, Adam Reach and Fernando Forestieri all possess good pace over the first 100 yards, but not that blistering speed to beat a couple of men. Whilst Wallace has been a great player for the club, a top-class winger would add extra competition, and an alternative option within games.

January loan-signing Callum McManaman has failed to really make an impact. In flashes, he has looked fantastic, but he struggles to consistently produce product, and can often go missing in games. Even though he has been lacking in match practice, having not really played at the Hawthorns, I would have still expected more from him. I think for the money it would cost to sign him permanently, there are better options available.

Former Owls loanee Aiden McGeady has been a revelation this season at Preston. Like McManaman, the Irish man joined Wednesday lacking match fitness, and struggled to make a difference in the team. This season at Preston he has been fantastic, and has looked like the player the Hillsborough faithful were expecting to see, six months previous.

McGeady has shown throughout the season he can maintain that level of consistency, and I would be more inclined to take a gamble on the former Celtic man than McManaman. There has never been any doubt over his ability, and now that he has rediscovered the form that earnt him his move to Everton, I think he could add a new dimension to the Owls’ attack. McGeady has one year left on his contract at Everton, and it is well documented that the club want to sell the 31-year-old. The only potential stumbling block could be his wages, but if the club can agree the right deal, I think he would be a good signing for the club.

Come discuss Elliott's thoughts on our forum HERE... or you can also get in touch with him on twitter you can...@e_jackson21
Unread article 23/05/2017 at 21:08


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