Did Owls make the most of a window of opportunity?
Plenty of movement and speculation in and around S6
For journalists, agents and many fans the transfer windows are busy and exciting times, for many clubs and their managers they are an annoyance.
Love them or loathe them, the transfers windows can go a long way to influencing the fortunes of a club. Only time will tell whether the business that Wednesday have done in the transfer market in January will prove effective but it is possible to consider whether the moves look positive or negative at this stage.
The speculation at the beginning of the month surrounded Miguel Llera looking for a way out of the club, via his agent at least. The Spanish centre-back’s contract is due to expire in the summer and rumours were rife that he was looking to secure his longer-term future. Llera’s form has been up and down this season but in the past couple of months he and Anthony Gardner have formed a solid partnership at the heart of the Owls defence and the fact that he has stayed at S6 has to be seen as a positive.
January saw Defenders Mark Reynolds & Daniel Jones and striker Rodri all leave the club. Reynolds had been away from Hillsborough on loan for some time and never looked like getting near the first team under Dave Jones. Daniel Jones had fallen way down the pecking order in terms of left-sided players and Rodri simply struggled to adapt in England having made the move from Barcelona B in the summer. The departure of all 3 players was unlikely to have any affect on the first team and will have recouped the club some money in terms of their salaries and expenses coming off the wage bill.
More notable departures saw Chris Lines go to MK Dons and Chris O’Grady move to Barnsley, both on loan deals. Lines played a major part in Wednesday’s promotion last season but an injury in pre-season set him back and he struggled to make an impact in the Championship on his return so should benefit from the move. The decision to let O’Grady move is perhaps the most questionable of the outgoings. COG started the season in fine form but has lost his form and his place in the past couple of months. It is not a great surprise to see him go at this stage but to allow him to join a rival club at the wrong end of the Championship table may be a gamble.
In terms of incoming players Wednesday have certainly made some positive moves. The addition of Leroy Lita adds some much needed experience, guile and goal scoring instinct to the front line and he hit the ground running by netting the winner on his debut at Charlton.
Jeremy Helan enjoyed a successful loan spell at Hillsborough over the Christmas period. It looked as though he was set for a move to Watford, much to the disappointment of most Wednesday fans, and so to have him return to the Owls until the end of the season is definitely a bonus.
The signing of Danny Pugh on loan from Leeds was one which few predicted but his versatility in terms of being able to play at full-back or across the midfield will provide Dave Jones with options when needed.
January has seen Wednesday keep all of the players that were in and around the first team, make some useful additions which should strengthen both the first 11 and the squad in general and the club have managed to get a few players that were not part of the first-team plans off the books.
The proof of the pudding will be in the eating in terms of performances and results for the remainder of the season but on the face of things the Owls have certainly had plenty of far worse transfer window experiences than this one has presented.
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