Sheffield Wednesday: Floro adds to Owls competition

Wednesday new boy Rafael Floro made his debut in the friendly at Stockport
Wednesday new boy Rafael Floro made his debut in the friendly at Stockport

Dave Jones has denied newspaper claims that he wants Sunderland full back Phil Bardsley - saying that he is well covered in the position.

The Wednesday boss responded to a question about the defender by shaking his head and saying: “No. I don’t need a full back; I’ve got Louis (Lewis Buxton) and (Kieran) Lee.”

The long and the short of it is that besides the existing competition at right back, diminutive new boy Rafael Floro can be expected to provide cover for the towering Reda Johnson on the opposite flank, and Buxton and Joe Mattock can both play at left back, even if the Owls do not re-sign Danny Pugh.

Bardsley is perhaps best known as a right back though he has also played on the left.

Floro is rated by Jones as a good prospect though a different type of full back from Reda.

Johnson is a powerhouse who is strong in the air and goes forward to be a threat at set pieces.

Floro, a 19-year-old from Portuguese club Porto, seems a tidy little player - and there is a place in the game for that type of fullback, too.

He looks comfortable on the ball and likes to get forward.

Johnson, if he is fit, looks sure to be first choice left back at the start of the season; his involvement has been delayed by his recovery from his foot problem.

It has yet to be revealed whether or not Pugh will be coming back to Hillsborough, after doing a sound job at left back and in midfield while on loan from Leeds last season.

Wednesday also face competition for another of last season’s loan successes, Jeremy Helan; the Helan camp have had talks with Wolves, who are in League One but are still funded by parachute money. It is understood that the Owls and Wolves are not the only clubs interested in the man who can play left back but whose best performances for Wednesday were on the left wing.

The Owls’ search for another striker definitely goes on now that one of their targets. Kevin Davies, has signed for Preston.

Rodger Wylde has thanked everyone who took part in his testmonial or turned up to watch; the attendance at Stockport was 2,083.

“I was absolutely delighted that so many of the former Stockport lads played, and really pleased with the turn-out,” he said.

“I had a great laugh with Dave Jones, Brendan Elwood (ex-Stockport chairman), and the Wednesday lads. It was everything that I wanted the evening to be on and off the field.

“It was validated by so many big names being there; Chris Waddle might have lost his speed but he’s still got great skill! I’d like to thank everybody.”