Sheffield Wednesday could have the solution to their long-standing left-back problem right under their nose.
The Owls have been without a true left-back all campaign, ever since they let out-of-contract Morgan Fox depart as he swapped Hillsborough Stadium for Stoke City in the summer.
Then-manager Garry Monk failed to bring in a viable replacement, though Wednesday outcast Matt Penney did return from a loan spell under Jos Luhukay at Bundesliga 2 outfit St Pauli.
And after beginning the season in Monk’s starting XI for the first two league games, the 23-year-old soon found himself usurped by a whole host of players, all of whom were preferred to him despite not being natural left wing-backs.
Moses Odubajo, Liam Palmer, Kadeem Harris, Joost van Aken and Adam Reach have all played in that role, or similar, ever since so clearly it is an issue that has rippled throughout the squad, even as each manager has come and gone.
Tony Pulis was sacked before the January transfer window, so he couldn’t fix the problem whilst it’s unlikely that interim boss Neil Thompson had much of a say in terms of incomings.
But Darren Moore may have spotted the solution, at long last.
During the international break, the recently-appointed 46-year-old has taken the opportunity to take a look at some of the Owls’ current crop of youngsters, of which Josh Dawodu features.
According to The Star, the highly-rated ex-Arsenal defender is among several players looking to make an impression on Moore before they return to action against Watford next week.
The former Doncaster Rovers and West Brom boss is renowned for his ability to develop youth, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him hand the ropes to the 20-year-old before the end of the season, if not next campaign, should he be under contract.
YorkshireLive’s Dom Howson has previously lauded the young full-back as ‘quick’ and ‘athletic,’ but more importantly, ‘attack-minded.’ This means that, if he has the ability, he could certainly help alleviate another major problem – scoring goals.
The Owls have the third-worst goalscoring record in the division, only managing to find the net 28 times in 38 matches. Having someone capable of bombing up and down that left flank to deliver balls into Jordan Rhodes could prove lucrative.
Also described as a ‘cultured defender’ with ‘excellent understanding and technical qualities,’ Dawodu could be at an advantage in fulfilling exactly that role.
It may well be a risk, but Moore must unleash the 20-year-old gem sooner rather than later.