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Disappointment, Frustration, Acceptance

Yesterday evening, Sheffield Wednesday released a statement which informed supporters that while Kieran Lee, Atdhe Nuhiu and Paul Jones had penned short term contracts in order to see the season out, the trio of Fernando Forestieri, Steven Fletcher and Morgan Fox have declined new contract offers.

Meanwhile, Sam Hutchinson and Sam Winnall will be released when their contracts expire on June 30th.

Reactions to the news have been mixed and the decisions made by the club have divided the fanbase.

While Fletcher and Fox have played instrumental roles this season, Forestieri has been in and out of the squad for three years without having a great impact.

To many it comes as no great surprise to see the number 45 leave, since refusing to play against Norwich City at Carrow Road in 2016 he’s never quite produced the same spark he had previously nor have the same levels of affection from the Hillsborough faithful.

Despite the well documented narrative that there is no longer any loyalty in football, the club stuck by Forestieri through long injury lay-offs and even in court when he was accused of racism by Mansfield Town’s Krystian Pearce after a pre-season friendly. Perhaps that loyalty was undeserved.

It is believed that Fernando Forestieri’s next port of call could well keep in him Yorkshire and would see him team up with a manager for which he has the upmost respect for, fellow Argentinian Marcelo Bielsa.

A move up the M1 would make him rather unpopular with those of a Wednesday persuasion, the forward recently put his house on the market which suggested to many supporters that a move away from Hillsborough was imminent.

The fact he is settled in the county and has gone on record with his appreciation of Bielsa in social media posts points towards a move to Elland Road.

However, supporters were unlikely to expect such a controversial switch of allegiance, the surviving respect some Owls fans had for him could well disintegrate.

There have also been rumours of where top goalscorer Steven Fletcher may be moving onto, murmurs of West Bromwich Albion have been around for some months now however the Scotsman may opt for a move back north of the border to Celtic or Aberdeen to cash in on his good form this season.

It is understood that the club offered the striker, who has 13 goals to his name this campaign, a new contract with severely reduced wages which caused the 33-year-old to look elsewhere for a better deal.

Supporters have been most divided on the matter of Morgan Fox, the left back endured his fair share of abuse from the stands during his first two seasons at Hillsborough, the majority of it merited after a string of abject performances.

Yet, this season Fox nailed down his spot and completely turned around his fortunes and changed the opinion of many a fan.

His ability to overcome adversity is to be commended, his attitude to better his game has been superb, making him a player of the season contender.

In spite of losing a key player in Fox, Garry Monk has Matt Penney returning from a successful loan spell with St Pauli. The 22-year-old is rated highly by Monk who has kept in contact with him throughout the campaign.

Unfortunately, Penney is ineligible until next season, therefore a back three may be what Garry Monk choses to implement for the remainder of the 2019/20 season.

Also, the actions of Atdhe Nuhiu and Kieran Lee should be praised. Loyalty does exist and they have shown that, quite possibly neither will remain at the club when their short term extensions expire but they have decided not to turn their backs on the club and supporters who they have played in front of for almost seven and eight years respectively.

Negotiations remain ongoing to extend the loans of Connor Wickham, Alessio De Cruz, Jacob Murphy and Josh Windass, these negotiations are crucial as without them Monk would only have 13 outfield players to choose from with games to come thick and fast injuries will be unavoidable.

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Unread article 25/06/2020 at 11:26

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