Sheffield Wednesday: Owls poised to freshen up forward line

Atdhe Nuhiu
Atdhe Nuhiu

Possessing a prolific centre-forward does not guarantee a team will be successful, but it certainly can increase their chances of mounting a promotion charge.

A lack of a cutting edge and strength in depth prevented Wednesday from competing in the upper echelons of the Championship last season.

Atdhe Nuhiu topped the goal-scoring charts, hitting the back of the net 11 times in all competitions, but he and Stevie May could have scored considerably more had their finishing been up to scratch. Not that the duo should be blamed for all of their inadequacies in front of goal. Not enough members of the team weighed in with goals.

By the end of the campaign, the Owls had a plethora of attacking options at their disposal. Against Leeds, former boss Stuart Gray selected Caolan Lavery up front, with Nuhiu, May, Will Keane and Sergiu Bus all named on the substitutes bench.

Gray recalled Keane to the starting line-up for their final-day draw at Watford, leaving Nuhiu, May and Bus on the bench. Keane has since returned to his parent club Manchester United.

Strengthening their forward department is at the top of the Owls’ priority list this summer as they seek to build on a 13th-placed finish last term. Although the Owls have yet to appoint a new head coach, it is understood the club’s sporting committee, comprising of Glenn Roeder, Paul Senior and Jonathan Hill, are lining up potential transfer targets.

Reports in Holland yesterday claimed highly-rated ADO Den Haag striker Michiel Kramer has turned down a move to Hillsborough. The 26-year-old notched 17 goals in 32 league outings in the Eredivisie last term and he is believed to have rejected a contract offer from the Owls last week.

Kramer, contracted to Den Haag until 2016, is attracting the interest of several clubs, according to his agent Hakim Slimani.

“At the moment there is interest from England, Germany and Spain,” he said. “It is clear that there is much interest for Kramer, but the market still has to get going.”

The Owls have also recently been linked with KRC Genk player Jelle Vossen.

To accommodate one, possibly two new centre-forwards, surely Wednesday will have to let one of Nuhiu, May, Lavery or Bus go elsewhere on a termporary or permanent basis?

Whatever management team Wednesday decide to put in place, it is highly unlikely that more than two strikers will be deployed at any given time. Trying to keep everyone happy will be no easy task.

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