Sheffield Wednesday boss Garry Monk must target a left-back in January

This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more… 

Sheffield Wednesday are finally back in league action on Friday evening as they face a trip to the Welsh capital to face Cardiff City.

Just before the international break, the Owls defeated Wigan Athletic 1-0 at Hillsborough to hand Garry Monk a more than satisfactory start to life as their new manager.

He has guided them to ten points from a possible 15 since being appointed early last month, and they now sit on the cusp of playoff contention in eighth place.

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Perhaps the 40-year-old’s job so far has actually been impressive considering he inherited the whole squad from his predecessors Steve Bruce and caretaker boss Lee Bullen.

Monk will soon be able to start bringing in players of his own as January is on the horizon, but where should he look to improve?

On the chalkboard

Football FanCast have previously highlighted Wednesday’s reliance on five-goal striker Steven Fletcher, so another forward or even a goalscoring midfielder seems a likely result of that.

And we’ve also stated how Monk has begun improving the squad starting with the defence, but it is indeed here that he should look to strengthen first in January.

Experimental361’s Expected Goals Table for the Championship has the Owls sitting pretty in fifth spot, though, they should have conceded more goals along the way.

They have had to deal with the absence of captain Tom Lees in defence, but Dominic Iorfa has stepped up in recent times, so that hasn’t been a major cause of concern.

While on the right, Moses Odubajo has underperformed considerably – therefore Monk should call upon Iorfa or even Liam Palmer to sort out that issue, which would leave a potential knock-on effect on the left side of the back four.

Technically, Morgan Fox is the only genuine left-back in the squad.

Palmer has played eight games in the role this season, but over the course of his career he’s featured predominantly on the right with 152 appearances there, per Transfermarkt’s recorded matches.

When the 26-year-old has been given a chance, he’s failed to inspire or prove why he should be starting as he rates out as one of the worst amongst the Wednesday squad at 6.52.

If Monk were to swap Palmer back over to the right side, it would likely leave behind a gaping hole, and if Fox can’t be trusted, it would make sense to strengthen that position during the January transfer window.

It will only help shore up their defence even more ahead of a potential playoff run.

Who should play at RB?

Iorfa

Iorfa

Palmer

Palmer

Odubajo

Odubajo

Article title: Sheffield Wednesday boss Garry Monk must target a left-back in January

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