Sheffield Wednesday are potentially less than nine games away from knowing their fate.
But recently-appointed Owls boss Darren Moore has an even tougher task ahead of him this summer, irrespective of which division the south Yorkshire fallen giants find themselves in.
No fewer than 12 players are out of contract at the end of the season, which is the vast majority of the current team, meaning there’s a likely rebuild ahead for the 46-year-old coach.
One of those names is Kadeem Harris – someone who has played a key role in this campaign. Letting him run down his deal is not only a dangerous game to play but is also going to make Moore’s job much harder.
Wednesday chairman Dejphon Chansiri is on the verge of making another contract mistake here – the likes of George Hirst and Liam Shaw spring to mind, albeit they were much younger prospects with huge potential.
Harris has been a frequent presence in the starting XI under Garry Monk, Tony Pulis, Neil Thompson and now Moore, having started 27 league games – only three other players have managed more this term.
Again, it is only the skipper (1.6) who is managing more key passes per game than Harris (0.8) and as their set-piece taker, it’s easy to see why he’s putting in more crosses (1.1) than the former Cardiff ace (0.7) too, as per WhoScored.
What this does suggest, however, is that Harris is an integral player on the flank and without him, the Owls would certainly suffer from a lack of service.
Pulis once claimed that he was their only danger man during a drab 0-0 draw with Stoke City, he said (via The Star): “He’s taken us down the pitch, he’s been a threat, and he was probably the one threat that Michael (O’Neill) will have been worried about during the game.”
The £1.35m-rated dynamo won’t be short of suitors either, as according to YorkshireLive, Championship rivals Middlesbrough are huge admirers, whilst the likes of Reading, Watford and Stoke are said to be interested ahead of the summer.
Boro boss Neil Warnock has had him before, and despite being the man to let him depart for Hillsborough, still waxed lyrical over his ability.
“He’s given them directness, pace and power,” said the veteran. “He’s got every attribute. I can’t praise him highly enough. We had a chat last year, around Christmas time, and he trained like a Trojan. We have been blessed with good wide players and he just couldn’t get a long run.
He must be doing something right, in what has been a diabolical season for Wednesday.
Letting the £10k-per-week wide man leave for nothing would be a disaster, and that ultimately falls at the feet of Chansiri, who appears to be making yet another catastrophic blunder here.
AND in other news, Owls must axe Luhukay dud this summer, Bannan once dubbed him “perfect”…