The Vital Watford season preview continues with the Owls
Next to face the scrutiny of the Vital Watford season preview, it`s Sheffield Wednesday…
After the safety of an 18th-placed finish last season, Sheffield Wednesday will be looking to build towards the anonymity of an even safer mid-table finish in their second season back in the Championship.
Dave Jones is a very shrewd Championship manager and has a great deal of experience at this level and he will know what is required in order to push the side on this term.
The addition of former loanee – and Watford target – Jeremy Helan is a good start, but a regular goal-scorer will be neccessary if the Owls are to improve on last year`s showing. Former Rapid Wien forward Atdhe Nuhiu is untried in English football, so there will be big pressure on the Austrian to deliver.
Another striker would be no bad thing, with the only other senior strikers on the books being Gary Madine (two goals last year) and Chris Maguire (one goal).
A centre-half is clearly still on Jones` shopping last, with ex-Orn Martin Taylor bumped up to #15 and the #5 spot left open at this stage.
In: Atdhe Nuhiu (Rapid Wien, free), Jeremy Helan (Manchester City, undisc.) & Jacques Maghoma (Burton Albion, free).
Out: Julian Bennett, Matthew Fletcher, Harry Grant, Nicky Weaver (all released), Bastien Hery (Rochdale, free), Necj Pecnik, Chris Lines (both mutual consent), Stephen Bywater (Millwall, free), Chris O`Grady (Barnsley, undisc.) & Hayden White (Bolton Wanderers, compensation).
Key Player – Michail Antonio: The 23 year-old winger will be hoping to supply the ammunition for somebody up front, but if not the Wandsworth-born flyer does at least know where the net is himself, bagging eight times in the league last term.
Comfortable on either flank, the former Reading winger has gradually worked his way up the leagues, taking in loan spells as Tooting & Mitcham, Cheltenham Town, Colchester United and Southampton before moving to Hillsborough – initially on loan.
“Sheffield Wednesday fans are expecting big things this season, I saw an interview with some suggesting they will challenging for the top two. I just don’t see that whatsoever, they will do well to stay up again.
“One of their problems is that the fans are very volatile but they have to be realistic about getting back to the Premiership. Its been 13 years since they were there and since then they’ve spent nearly as much time in League One as the Championship. They have a decent squad but is lacks goals and they also leak goals defensively.
“Jeremy Helan is a good acquisition but they had him last season so he is not really an addition and there only other recruit Jacques Maghoma is untested at this level. I can’t see them finishing above the bottom third.”