A mixed Sheffield Wednesday side defied the tricky circumstances hanging over them by advancing into the next round of the FA Cup on Saturday afternoon.
The Owls were without caretaker boss Neil Thompson, his assistants and several players due to an outbreak at the training ground throughout the week, whilst in the Championship, they are still embroiled in a relegation scrap.
In his absence, the Hillsborough outfit picked up an impressive 2-0 victory over League Two outfit Exeter City in the third round of the competition.
Goals came from Adam Reach and Calum Paterson either side of half-time, though there was one name that stood out amongst the rest.
Young academy starlet Ryan Galvin was handed a debut at left-back and he duly delivered, and in the process, he has just handed Thompson a massive dilemma.
Per SofaScore, the 19-year-old gem won a whopping ten of his 12 duels (83%), successfully pulled off 100% of his dribbles, put in five tackles and made three interceptions.
YorkshireLive’s Dom Howson was also impressed by the unseen youth talent as he received an 8/10 in his post-match ratings:
“Assured display from the left-back on his pro debut. Did not look out of place at all, delivering a bright, energetic performance. A day he will remember for the rest of his life.”
It was an interesting inclusion from the off, but one that ultimately paid off.
Before he was sacked, Tony Pulis lambasted his options in the left-back role, he told reporters after a 2-1 defeat to Barnsley: “Out of all the clubs I’ve managed, it’s probably as disjointed a group as I’ve managed. If you look at it, there’s six centre-halves, and I don’t think we’ve got a left-back.”
Indeed, Garry Monk never replaced Morgan Fox, who departed for Stoke City on a free transfer in the summer.
But might Galvin have just proved to be the solution? That’s the headache that will play on Thompson’s mind for the next week or so.
On the one hand, his performance was sublime and couldn’t be faulted but at the end of the day, it was to a side two divisions below, so he could become exposed at Championship level – especially in the midst of a relegation battle.
Though given the lack of choices, Galvin should certainly be put through his paces when the Owls face Coventry City next weekend. It could turn out to be a masterstroke for their season.