O’Grady could be the real deal for Owls

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Apparent Sheffield Wednesday target Chris O’Grady has shown he can be every bit as effective at Rochdale in League One as Kevin Davies is in the Premiership with nearby Bolton, writes Alan Biggs.

And O’Grady is that kind of player - imposing, physical, fearless and what the professionals often call “a real handful.”

At 25, he also has power to add to a career that has taken him through Rotherham and Oldham after an apprenticeship at Leicester. Plus he could prove more gettable than Nottingham Forest’s Nathan Tyson.

So it would be no surprise to see Gary Megson swoop for a striker who fits his mould. Not maybe a player who has a name to excite the fans but one - as this writer can testify after trips to Spotland last season - who can add power to a Hillsborough front line already boasting a raw talent from the lower leagues in Gary Madine.

Paul Heffernan, signed from Doncaster last summer, has made little impact on two managerial regimes and is likely to be in play for any interested clubs.

Beyond that, there is uncertainty over a lead role for the experienced Clinton Morrison whose 11 goals last season were a fair return for his two-year deal but who, at 32, may not figure on a regular basis.

Cue a logical interest in the younger O’Grady who has hit 34 goals in two seasons with Rochale, where promotion was gained and a healthy position in League One.

Wednesday are being flexible, having already warned that their offers to out-of-contract trio Jermaine Johnson, James O’Connor and Lewis Buxton may be subject to developments on players coming into the club.

For instance, right back Buxton may have noted Megson being linked with a player from his position, Scott Wiseman, who, like O’Grady, is with Rochdale and also happens to be 25.

When as many as nine players are targeted - with two signed so far - there are bound to be tweaks along the way. Jason Koumas is another major attraction.

But Mandaric will want to balance out a sensible budget, meaning that any bids for Michael Morrison, Reda Johnson and Mark Reynonds - the defensive trio quickly thrust out of the picture after arriving only in January - are bound to be considered, if not openly welcomed.

lJohn Sheridan has agreed a new five-year deal with League One newcomers Chesterfield. Similar-length contracts have been awarded to coaches Tommy Wright and Mark Crossley. Former Owls midfielder Sheridan was linked with Barnsley but was not interested in a move to Oakwell where the manager’s job has gone to Blades’ manager candidate Keith Hill.