Defender Martin Taylor has predicted Sheffield Wednesday teammate Jeremy Helan will terrorise Championship defences this season, starting at Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.
The Owls signed the versatile Frenchman for an undisclosed fee earlier this month from Manchester City and Taylor is backing the 21-year-old, who made 28 appearances while on loan at Wednesday last term, to be a key performer for the South Yorkshire outfit as they seek to compete in the upper echelons of the division.
The central defender told The Star: “It was a huge positive for the squad that the gaffer brought Jeremy back. He was vitally important last year in us staying up.
“Jeremy can play anywhere on the left. He’s got pace and got a few tricks so he’s going to cause defenders problems. I would not fancy playing against him.”
He quipped: “I try to shuffle the team around so I avoid playing him in training!”
Helan, capped three times at under-19 level for France, penned a four-year contract at Hillsborough and is expected to feature prominently throughout the 2013/14 campaign.
Owls manager Dave Jones decided to rest Helan and Michail Antonio in their final pre-season friendly against Chesterfield last weekend.
The duo are likely to be given first-team recalls when Wednesday begin their league programme in the capital against Harry Redknapp’s much-fancied QPR side this weekend.
Taylor claims Helan’s versatility will be a big asset to the side in their quest to push on and improve on last season’s 18th-placed finish.
“Jeremy is a great personality to have around the place,” he said. “He always listens to advice and works hard in training.
“He likes to run with the ball and it is important to have players like that in your squad. Jeremy gives us that extra little bit of pace.”
While much is expected of Helan in the final third, Taylor is hoping to secure a regular starting role at the heart of the Owls rearguard.
He added: “It goes without saying that I want to get into the team. We know if we start well and go on a good run we can do well at this level.”