Sheffield Wednesday’s season has taken a turn for the worst as the Owls sit six points outside of the playoff zone with just one win in nine to their name.
Garry Monk has chopped and changed his side perpetually, especially at the back which had previously been his foundation to success but in most part, this has been enforced due to injuries.
Liam Palmer, Morgan Fox and Moses Odubajo have all faced time on the sidelines since the turn of the year, resulting in a constant carousel of personnel.
Last weekend, commanding centre-back Dominic Iorfa was forced to play right-back whilst the likes of Tom Lees and Julian Borner have been in and out of the side for months.
If Monk can’t decide who should play at the back, then there should be no harm in giving an opportunity to David Bates, the rarely-seen Hamburg loanee.
The Scotsman joined the club in the summer under caretaker Lee Bullen and has only been able to feature in one Carabao Cup game all season, keeping a clean sheet against Rotherham United.
He arrived at Hillsborough with high acclaim, he’s been regarded as the Ginger [Sergio] Ramos by Rangers fans and has even been compared to Bayern Munich powerhouse Niklas Sule by the Bundesliga official website.
Bates’ former teammate Kenny Miller described him as a “great lad who works very, very hard. He’s a good defender, very quick, strong. If he gets the nod, I’m sure he won’t let anyone down.”
In the Bundesliga 2 last season, the 23-year-old won an average of 3.7 aerial duels, recorded 1.4 tackles and 4.8 clearances per game as well as an 82.8% passing success rate, via WhoScored.
This would suggest that he’s more than capable of featuring for the Owls, but we’ll never know until he’s handed a chance.
The 6 foot 4 colossus hasn’t even been named in a matchday squad since Monk’s second game in charge either.
Maybe it is time to give him this opportunity, especially if the 40-year-old Wednesday boss is going to continue to chop and change his defence around – they have only kept two clean sheets in their last eight league outings, after all.
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