Owls squad assessment: Strikers
Are Wednesday in need of more fire power?
Having considered the what Sheffield Wednesday possess in terms of Goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and wingers owls-mad now looks at what is often the most discussed, topical position in the team – the forward line.
Wednesday currently have just 3 main experienced strikers and none of them really managed to cover themselves in glory last season.
Gary Madine's goals helped to fire the Owls to League One promotion in 2011/12 but he struggled in his first season at Championship level, scoring only 4 goals in 35 matches though many of his appearances came from the bench.
Chris Maguire signed for the Owls last summer but struggled to get into the squad never mind the starting 11 for a large proportion of the season and was close to going out on loan before picking up an injury. The Scottish striker had a slightly more encouraging end to the season which included an important late winning goal at Millwall and he will be hoping to carry this into pre-season and make a fresh start in 2013/14.
It is interesting that Chris O'Grady was probably the most successful Owls striker last season given that it appears that he is not a firm part of the clubs plans. O'Grady was not regarded as a first choice starter going into last season but he had a good pre-season and hit the ground running by scoring a brace in the League Cup at Oldham and following it up with a great strike at Derby on the opening day of the Championship campaign. Despite this strong start O'Grady was another player who lost his place, somewhat unjustly, on the arrival of Jay Bothroyd. Despite a winning goal at Barnsley in December O'Grady was unable to force himself back into the Owls side on a regular basis and was loaned out to local Championship rivals Barnsley. The 27-year-old played a major part in helping the Tykes hold onto their Championship status, scoring 5 times in 16 games for them, taking his total for the season to 11 goals, more than any other Wednesday player managed.
Barnsley have made no secret of their desire to sign O' Grady but it remains to be seen whether they will be able to meet the Owls valuation of the player.
Wednesday were heavily reliant on the loan system for strikers last season. Leroy Lita was the most successful of these and the Swansea forward could be someone that the Owls will be looking to bring back.
With O'Grady appearing to be out of the plans and Maguire and Madine struggling to adapt this appears to be a position in which the Owls have their most pressing need. Very few clubs in the Championship scored less goals than Wednesday last season, proven goalscorers are hard to come by but of the Owls are to make an impression on the Championship next time around they will probably need to acquire one if not two.
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