Sheffield Wednesday boss Garry Monk would like a striker in before his side faces Blackburn Rovers this weekend, and that could indeed happen according to latest reports.
It is believed that the Owls are leading the chase to sign Crystal Palace frontman Connor Wickham on loan this month after Roy Hodgson bolstered their frontline with the temporary signing of Cenk Tosun.
Whether the move can be thrashed out in the next couple of days remains to be seen, but for now, our writers at Football FanCast have been discussing the potential deal.
Wednesday are desperate for attacking additions following the devastating blow to top goalscorer Steven Fletcher, while there are mounting concerns over the quality of his backup options, namely Atdhe Nuhiu, Jordan Rhodes and Sam Winnall.
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Here’s what FFC’s finest have had to say…
“This would undoubtedly be a good move, as long as Connor Wickham keeps himself fit. He’s shown many glimpses of what he’s about in a red and blue shirt, with his obvious physicality, hold-up play and positioning inside the box being key aspects of his game.
“Unfortunately, since suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury away to Swansea in a mind-boggling 5-4 defeat in 2016, the former Ipswich man has struggled to properly recover and always seems to make a handful of cameo appearances before vanishing again.
“As aforesaid, this would be shrewd from Garry Monk and could well solve Sheffield Wednesday’s striking issues – significantly, however, Wickham quite simply has to stay fit, or this would be a waste of Palace, Monk, Roy Hodgson and Wednesday’s time.”
“Although this signing would be a gamble, one can see why Sheffield Wednesday are keen to make it happen. A return to the club where Wickham has scored nine goals in 17 appearances would please the fans and has the potential to be a good match once again.
“However, the 26-year-old is no longer the same player as he was in 2014 due to a lack of game time brought on by significant injuries. As a result, the risk outweighs the reward, meaning it could become a disaster.
“The Owls need a striker they can rely upon what with Steven Fletcher being unavailable, and that means they should look to another target before setting their sights on Wickham, perhaps someone who can get the best out of Jordan Rhodes.”
“This smacks of panic. Sheffield Wednesday are in dire need of a striker following top-scorer Steven Fletcher’s injury, but they’d be going wrong by bringing in a player who simply doesn’t find the back of the net. He may have scored nine in 17 for the Owls previously, but it’s particularly difficult to look past his truly abysmal record. Since November 2016, Wickham has scored just two times and missed 79 matches through injury, according to Transfermarkt.
“Replacing one injured player with another who is susceptible to time on the treatment table would be a foolish decision from Monk and the club’s hierarchy. If Wednesday have desires of improving on a faltering frontline, one that’s seen the likes of Atdhe Nuhui and Jordan Rhodes net three goals this term, they must look elsewhere. Wickham simply isn’t the answer for a side in immediate need of a goal scorer.”
“It is hard to gauge whether or not this is the right move for Wednesday, I think ultimately, only time will tell. Wickham comes with so much baggage which makes it a monumental risk, even more so after losing top goalscorer Steven Fletcher to injury himself. The 26-year-old has averaged 12 games per season across four years. That’s a worrying sign. However, his last few spells on loan at Hillsborough were rather fruitful and if he can manage to score in a similar vein – 9 goals in 17 games – then it’ll be a win-win for all parties. He’s hardly a like-for-like replacement though, so maybe Atdhe Nuhiu is set to stay.”