Sheffield Wednesday have made their first signing of the Garry Monk era, and it is one that puts one long-serving squad member at serious risk.
The club announced late on Wednesday evening that they had signed Argentinian winger Manuel Hidalgo from Italian outfit Triestina for an undisclosed fee following a successful trial period.
Speaking to the club’s official website about the move, the 20-year-old said:
“I know I need to take some steps towards the first team. I played for the first team in Italy and I know it’s not the same here.
“I want to play first for the Under-23s but my main goal is to play for the first team.”
It is the first time that Monk has been able to operate the transfer market, and as a result, departures are expected.
The Owls currently have three wingers in rotation in Adam Reach, Jacob Murphy and Kadeem Harris, so some depth is needed in the role.
They are also able to call upon Fernando Forestieri, when available, but that’s been an all too infrequent matter this campaign.
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One of Carlos Carvalhal’s first signings at the club back in the summer of 2015, Forestieri quickly became a cult figure at Hillsborough as he finished as the top goalscorer in back-to-back playoff campaigns.
However, under Monk this season, the 29-year-old has hardly been seen – in part down to a six-match suspension and also injuries playing havoc – he’s started just one game since he took charge in September and hasn’t been involved the end of October, per Transfermarkt.
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Forestieri can play in the middle or out wide, as can Hidalgo; with his contract set to expire in the summer, it would make sense to think of the future ahead especially as the veteran midfielder doesn’t appear to be in his direct plans.
Sheffield Star reporter Dom Howson believes it isn’t out of the realms of possibility that late interest can come in for the Owls’ players closer to deadline day, of which Forestieri could be one.
And in other news, this Premier League loan move isn’t Wednesday’s main and only focus…