This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…
Sheffield Wednesday return to league action this weekend, and those involved with the club will be hoping that they have learned a thing or two over the international break.
The Owls were left reeling in several matches before the two-week league hiatus kicked in as game management has cost them an array of points.
Too often lately have Garry Monk’s side let slip of a potential victory or even that crucial away point, so hopefully, signs of that being put right will occur against Championship-leading West Brom this weekend.
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However, one of their major issues this season doesn’t necessarily have a quick or easy fix – goalscoring.
Top goalscorer Steven Fletcher is currently enduring a barren run of six games without a goal, and under the 40-year-old, the side have bagged just 14 goals from ten matches, four of which coming in one fixture alone.
But one of Wednesday’s reported targets continues to display why he could be a potential solution, and one that doesn’t necessarily have to lead the line.
Per TEAMtalk at the start of the month, the Owls were leading the chase for Crawley Town striker Bez Lubala after his impressive start to the season in League Two.
The 21-year-old has continued to prove that he is a goal threat, even when playing from a wide position, as he has bagged eight goals in 17 appearances this campaign.
Lubala was handed his first senior debut by Monk when the pair were together at Birmingham City, so that only adds fuel to the fire, but it is a move that makes a ton of sense outside of that factor alone.
The goal-laden ace has primarily been deployed as a left-winger in Gabriele Cioffi’s system, and it has paid serious dividends.
Lubala is averaging a massive 4.4 shots per game, which far exceeds Wednesday’s best as Fletcher is averaging 2.7 per game while Kadeem Harris, who has played on the left this campaign, has managed just 1.6 per match, via WhoScored.
He also averages 1.9 dribbles, 1.9 key passes, and 1.2 crosses a game, which only goes to show he can offer multiple qualities – the sort that can help Monk resolve his goalscoring crisis.
That’s both in a team player sense, as his numbers for passes and crosses show, and as a threat in front of goal.
The 40-year-old knows the player well enough from the Blues, and the fact that he can play on the wing or as a striker should have the Owls chief pleading at Dejphon Chansiri’s door this January.