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Sheffield Wednesday may rue the decision to release Gary Hooper

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…

On Tuesday evening, Garry Monk suffered his first league defeat as Sheffield Wednesday boss after Tom Eaves’ header was enough to hand Hull City a 1-0 victory.

The 40-year-old would have learned a few things about his team, but most glaringly that a potential problem could lie in their attacking department.

The Owls were without five-goal man Steven Fletcher as the 32-year-old surprisingly missed the match through injury, and his absence was harshly felt.

Wednesday had 12 attempts at goal with just three of them coming on target.

Sam Winnall was chosen to partner Atdhe Nuhiu and it just didn’t seem to click in the way it did against Middlesbrough when Monk’s men stormed away with a 4-1 victory.

The pair have only scored two goals between them this campaign with Fernando Forestieri also missing through suspension and Jordan Rhodes seemingly not in Monk’s plans, making just one substitute appearance since his appointment.

The lack of quality options must be a pressing concern for the Owls boss, but it could have been so much different if he was instilled before the summer.

Former boss Steve Bruce may have released a player that would have been of some use – particularly now with Fletcher out injured.

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That’s another point too. Monk is having to work with the cards he’s been dealt, at least until January, when he can bring in some targets of his own.

Gary Hooper enjoyed a prolific time in Scotland as he scored 82 goals in 138 appearances for Celtic, which earned him a move to the Premier League with Norwich, but after two full seasons there, he moved to Hillsborough.

His time at the south Yorkshire club was far from the goal-laden exploits which bore fruit in the SPL but it was still a respectable return, scoring 31 times in 89 matches.

At 5 foot 9, he offers a totally different presence to Fletcher, who averages 6.3 aerial duels won per game or the 6 foot 6 Nuhiu – something that’s quite clearly lacking in the Wednesday squad currently.

And even though it’s in hindsight, the club are now left rueing the decision made by Bruce.

Should Rhodes be given a chance?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Article title: Sheffield Wednesday may rue the decision to release Gary Hooper

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