Why a lack of recruitment may not be Sheffield Wednesday’s biggest problem this summer

Sheffield Wednesday have signed one new player so far.

When Carlos Carvalhal revealed at the end of May his intention to bring ‘four or five’ new players to Sheffield Wednesday, few would have predicted the Owls’ current predicament.

Two and a half months on and two games into the new Championship season, George Boyd remains the only fresh face at Hillsborough, despite one or two glaring holes in Carvalhal’s squad.

Carlos Carvalhal, manager of Sheffield Wednesday

It has become evident over the past few weeks that financial fair play is more of a factor than many Wednesdayites had initially envisioned, but surely the Portuguese – who communicates daily with Dejphon Chansiri wherever the Owls’ Thai owner may be – would have been briefed on the situation.

As it stands, acquiring those remaining three or four new faces would leave Wednesday with a squad of players at least 30-strong, which in an ideal world you would want trimmed to 25 – and then some.


Yet, those who were not offered contracts aside, only Filipe Melo has been successfully removed from the books at Hillsborough, and adding to that numbers appears to have proved more difficult than perhaps even those at the top of the club had foreseen.

And again, you have to question the initial recruitment process, to which Chansiri has already held up his hands, with even fringe players such as Lewis McGugan and Lucas Joao likely to earn, at a guess, £30,000-a-week combined.

Lucas Joao of Sheffield Wednesday celebrates his goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield Wednesday and Brentford at Hillsborough Stadium on February 13, 2016 in...Lucas Joao of Sheffield Wednesday

Throw in Atdhe Nuhiu, Marco Matias and Jake Kean and you are almost certainly exceeding £50,000-a-week between the five of them. Without wanting to sound harsh, that is £2.5 million-a-year potentially being wasted – given how much each of those contributed last season.

And while Wednesday’s £3 million bid for Cardiff’s Sean Morrison earlier in the window suggests the Owls still have a bit of room for manouevre, if Carlos wants his ‘four or five’ players, he is going to need a hand from other clubs.

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