Sheffield Wednesday: Highly-rated Judge eyes up Euro spot
One of the players of the season in the Championship will look to derail Sheffield Wednesday's promotion challenge tomorrow afternoon.
Talismanic Brentford forward Alan Judge is poised to line-up against Carlos Carvalhal’s troops this weekend - just over a month after the Owls had a bid rebuffed for the 27-year-old.
Judge, who has netted 12 times and weighed in with seven assists for the Bees, was the subject of two failed bids from Wednesday and Burnley in the January transfer window.
It is thought the Owls and Clarets offers fell way short of Brentford’s valuation for the player, who moved to Griffin Park from Blackburn Rovers in 2014.
Brentford boss and ex-Owls defender Dean Smith said: “Alan just loves playing football.
“He has got a superb attitude and just wants to get better.
“He’s had a fruitful season in front of goal and he wants to keep scoring and getting better. His ultimate aim is to get into the Ireland squad at the Euros.”
The Bees saw James Tarkowski, Jota and Toumani Diagouraga leave before the window shut but Smith was pleased they managed to retain Judge’s services.
“The players respect him an awful lot,” he said. “Alan is in a rich vein of form at the moment and one we wanted to keep. Playing in his favoured position and given the freedom he has, he can fight his way into the Euro squad.”
Smith may freshen up his team following their 3-0 loss at Brighton and Hove Albion last time out as he aims to reignite their faltering play-off bid. Josh McEachran (hip) is an injury doubt and Marco Djuricin is pushing for a first-team recall.
“There’s 16 games left with 48 points to play for,” he said. “We’ll still be going for it.”