This article is part of Football FanCast’s In The Pipeline series, which takes a look at some of the most promising young talent either linked with clubs or emerging from their academies…
Sheffield Wednesday have a long way to go until they know their fate for this season under Garry Monk, but given they are on the cusp of the playoffs with 2020 rapidly approaching, it can only be a good sign.
The Owls are three points away from genuinely being in contention, which isn’t a bad thing as a string of results could catapult them up the league table.
They could have even been closer to the league leaders West Bromwich Albion if they were able to hold onto their leads – in three of their last five games, a victory or a draw has been snatched from their grasp.
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Several members of the squad see their contracts run out at the end of the current campaign, so it is fair to say that some may be playing for their future in south Yorkshire.
One of those is Atdhe Nuhiu, who has been at the club since 2013, having made 250 appearances, but it is time to part ways with the 30-year-old as he doesn’t quite suit Monk’s system.
At 6 foot 6, he is a colossal presence in attack, but when you have another target man next to him in Steven Fletcher, it’s just not the right balance.
He’s also not that prolific as he’s netted 45 times, which is over once every five games.
Fletcher, Sam Winnall, and Jordan Rhodes are three others that see their contracts expire this summer, so Monk could be rather short in the striking department ahead of the 2020/21.
The 40-year-old will obviously make some additions at some point, but he can save some money and add to that squad depth by promoting Preslav Borukov from the youth team as he’s a similar profile to both Fletcher and Nuhiu.
Wednesday’s official website describes the Bulgarian starlet as a ‘real physical presence in attack’ so he could be the man to fill the void should the aforementioned strikers depart the club.
Supporters at the club have called for him to feature in the past too – he looks a handful albeit against fellow youngsters…
— Sheffield Wednesday (@swfc) April 16, 2019
Having now been called up at U23 level internationally, Borukov’s career is clearly on the right trajectory.
Monk should loan him out for the remainder of the season to get experience in the men’s game before a return to the first-team fold in the summer.