Strike duo linked with Owls

Adam Le Fondre
Adam Le Fondre

Sheffield Wednesday’s potentially rampant return to the transfer arena is such a novelty that Hillsborough is firmly back in the speculation game, writes Alan Biggs.

Names thrown up by the rumour mill include Birmingham’s veteran goal poacher Kevin Phillips and Rotherham’s prolific marksman Adam Le Fondre.

Either suggestion would have been laughed into oblivion a few weeks ago. Now the acquisition of players of their type is entirely plausible.

That said, I can imagine boss Alan Irvine won’t want to overload his side with too many new players all at once.

Two debuts were successfully incorporated in last week’s sterling 3-0 FA Cup win at Bristol City (paving the way to the fifth round with Hereford next up at Hillsborough) as Reda Johnson and Michael Morrison made solid starts.

A third new defender, Motherwell’s Mark Reynolds, is being pursued ahead of Saturday’s key home clash with Charlton.

Two strikers and a midfielder remain on the list, though Irvine will undoubtedly be conscious that, in the main, his current team is shaping up to the challenge. He will want a seamless transition that stiffens the strength of the whole squad without disrupting the side’s attacking rhythm.

Careful blending is required as Wednesday, now down to seventh after others stole a march in midweek, look to bridge a gap that is largely due to the Christmas wipe-out.

The Owls are seven points adrift of the targeted second promotion spot and, crucially, one behind Saturday’s visitors.