Chey Dunkley is out of contract at Sheffield Wednesday at the end of the season and given his recent performances for the Owls that situation should be addressed very soon.
The 29-year-old will be free to discuss a contract with a new club for the 2022/23 season in January and the Owls should not be risking allowing one of their best defenders to look elsewhere. Before joining Wednesday in the summer of 2020, Dunkley had been a crucial cog in Wigan Athletic’s impressive resurgence under Paul Cook.
The Latics’ unfortunate fall into administration and relegation saw Dunkley unattached. Had that turn of events not taken place and Cook’s Wigan continued to progress as they were, Dunkley would have been a mainstay at the heart of defence in an ambitious Championship side.
Therefore, just over a season afterwards for him to be applying his trade at a team in League One, who had also suffered a points deduction, is no slight on his ability as a competent second tier defender. The 29-year-old is a great leader in the spine of a team, something that can sometimes go under the radar, and has been an important player in maintaining very high standards to help push the Owls back up the table after a rocky start to the campaign.
Wednesday do have impressive depth for the level in defensive areas and have coped with Dunkley’s recent absence through injury, but that does not mean he will not be welcomed straight back into Darren Moore’s first team picture when declared fit to do so.
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Tying Dunkley down to a new deal at this stage would likely see him return to the side with an increased level of confidence and is sensible future planning with a host of players coming towards the end of their current deals this summer. Defensive solidity has been crucial to the Owls’ 12 game unbeaten run in the league which has set the foundations for their promotion push, if that resilience does not continue, which could be caused by uncertainty over player’s futures, then the Owls could slip back into mid table.
A new deal for Dunkley should be of high priority as we edge towards the new year.