ALAN Irvine and new boy Isaiah Osbourne have revealed how the Owls beat competition from Championship clubs to sign him.
The 23-year-old midfield man from Aston Villa, landed on loan for the rest of the season, was keen to go to Hillsborough because “it’s a great club to play for” and because the manager made him feel wanted.
Irvine tells how he tracked Osbourne for weeks before a deal was clinched in time to beat the transfer deadline.
Osbourne told The Star: “I’m delighted about it; it’s a chance to get some games.
“This is a great club to play for, and they’ve got a great manager, Alan Irvine.
“I got to know of their interest around December, but obviously it depended on what Villa and Wednesday decided.
“There was interest in me from Championship clubs - but they were second favourites. I wanted to come here - it’s always good when you’re made to feel so wanted.
“I’m very keen to get started here. I don’t think I was given much of a chance a Villa.”
Irvine said: “I was told that there were two Championship clubs interested. We have managed to complete the deal, and they haven’t. This wasn’t an overnight thing. It took time.
“We made a lot of inquiries about Isaiah. I was pleased with the information that I got. All of a sudden there was an opportunity to push things through, on Saturday evening and Sunday.”
Osbourne’s Villa contract ends in the summer. He says he does not know yet what the future holds.
Irvine says a full transfer has not been discussed: “Yes, he’s out of contract in the summer. From his point of view, if does well here then he will have strong options; from our point of view, if we want to do something with him, then hopefully it gives us a little edge if he does well and enjoys it here; you can build up a relationship.
“Whatever happens after this season will happen; if he does really well in the meantime, we’ll be delighted.”
Osbourne, 6ft tall, says his idol is Patrick Vieira and he describes himself as a “box-to-box midfield player”.
Irvine said: “I remember Isaiah breaking through at Villa as a very promising player. He is still young, a good athlete and a good size, he’s strong and mobile and, with the upbringing he’s had there, he’s going to be a good footballer.
“In his loan spell at Forest, he played against Preston when I was there. The people at Forest and those at Villa and at Middlesbrough, where he also went on loan, have spoken highly about him.
“He brings more competition to the middle of the pitch, where we have just lost Tommy Miller.
“Isaiah is probably more of a defensive midfield player than an attacking one; that’s something we don’t presently have. But he also has the technical ability to get on the ball and pass it.”
Irvine is pondering a debut for Osbourne at Peterborough tonight but said: “He’s trained with us in the dome this morning. I haven’t had a chance to see him yet on the grass,
“I’ve got a lot of thinking to do about the game. Hopefully he will get up to speed very quickly.”
Player marks published in The Star yesterday for the Owls v Hereford match were affected by technical problems.