So far since arriving at Sheffield Wednesday, one of the major success stories of Carlos Carvalhal’s reign has been his ability to resurrect the careers of players who have stagnated at other clubs.
Now, the Owls head coach is looking to sprinkle some more of that magic on another player, with this week’s loan signing of Callum McManaman from West Brom.
As The Star exclusively revealed on Tuesday, the Liverpudlian winger has agreed to a move to Hillsborough until the end of the current campaign, bringing with it an opportunity for the 25 year-old to reproduce the type of form that saw Albion pay close to £5million to take him to the Hawthorns less than two years ago.
McManaman has made just four first team appearances in the last year and has been frozen out by Baggies boss Tony Pulis.
It is a familiar tale at Wednesday.
Players like Barry Bannan, Fernando Forestieri, Daniel Pudil and Gary Hooper have all thrived under Carvalhal having found themselves sidelined at previous clubs and now the Portuguese believes that he can add McManaman to the list of Owls stars who have been given a ‘second life’.
“If Callum did at West Brom what he did at Wigan, he would not be at Sheffield Wednesday,” admitted Carvalhal.
“This kind of player we like and we can achieve the kind of player we know has value but because for one or another reason in recent times they are not doing well.
“These kinds of players we can achieve and we give, not just him but some players we have here, a second life. They are almost dead in the clubs and we bring them here because we know that they are really good players but they have one or another situation that they don’t perform so well and we try to create conditions for them to grow up.
“I think we are doing that very well at Sheffield Wednesday so far.”
While Carvalhal and his coaching staff have shown a knack of bringing out the best in previously discarded players, he adds that they themselves must show the hunger to regain their form.
“We want them to show to everybody that probably in the last months or one or two years that the coach was wrong about them and this is a challenge to them.
“So we like this kind of challenge, to try to push these players up.
“Sometimes we achieve, sometimes we can’t achieve. But when you bring one player you never know.”
McManaman’s arrival brings with it a potential solution to a problem that has dogged Wednesday in many games this campaign - trying to break down resolute defences.
That factor was all the more prevalent in games where the often talismanic figure of Fernando Forestieri has been missing.
“He will give something that Fernando has a little,” said Carvalhal of his new player.
“In one-on-one, creative things, he is a player that when we miss Fernando sometimes we miss a moment in parts of the games, someone to discover inside the box something different, like magic.
“Callum can give this to the team, he can give this kind of creativity that we need.”
McManaman can’t play tomorrow against Preston North End with the transfer window not officially opening until the following day but he will be available for the next home game, a sell-out against Wolves on Monday.
“He is fit, he is training and at West Brom he played ten games with the Under 23s so it is a player who is available to play,” he added.