Sheffield Wednesday have been impressive defensively all season long but also unable to blow teams away in the attacking third.
This state of affairs saw the Owls slip away from the promotion race and give themselves a significant gap to overcome in the first half of the season. Wednesday are unbeaten in 12 league games but are still two points behind Oxford United in sixth place.
The likes of Dominic Iorfa, Chey Dunkley and Liam Palmer have shown their class and only Rotherham United and Wigan Athletic have conceded fewer than Darren Moore’s men.
The difference between the Owls breaking into the top six and not could be whether they can bring in some new attacking players in January and Moore will be identifying targets at present.
Here, we have taken a look at three attacking upgrades Wednesday should consider ahead of the January transfer window…
It feels like Morecambe’s survival hopes in the third tier are hanging on the league’s top scorer Cole Stockton. The 27-year-old has scored 13 goals of tremendous variety in League One and Wednesday definitely have the financial muscle to give the Shrimps a tempting offer.
Florian Kamberi, Saido Berahino and Callum Paterson have struggled to catch fire so far this season, with a lot of the goalscoring burden on Lee Gregory’s shoulders heading into the second half of the campaign.
In the pressure cooker that is the business end of the season, Wednesday will need a greater depth of quality in attacking areas and the long season could start to hamper the form of Gregory at 33 years old. Stockton is a player on the way up in his career and he would take a move to a huge club for the level in his stride.
An unproven option. The 19-year-old striker has made two appearances for Fulham this season and opened his account for the club in the Carabao Cup. Stansfield is yet to venture on his first loan move in senior football but January feels like a natural time to allow him out to showcase his ability.
There is an element of predictability about Wednesday’s current forward line with a lack of pace and goals in recent years. Stansfield does not provide the track record but would certainly add variety to an offensive contingent that outside of Theo Corbeanu, who has been playing as a wing back, is without a youthful spark. Stansfield has a point to prove and could bring a freshness to the forward line in the high stakes environment at Hillsborough.
Quiz: Can you name which club Sheffield Wednesday sold these 26 players to?
A local option. Burke has made just two league starts for Sheffield United this season and first team opportunities do not appear forthcoming under Paul Heckingbottom. It is tricky to narrow down what it is Burke is missing after such a precocious beginning to his career. But, a new challenge at Wednesday with a manager in Darren Moore, who has a good record with younger players, could be the appropriate tonic.
With Burke’s contract up at Bramall Lane at the end of next season, the 24-year-old need to show something in England or his career will reach a crossroads next summer. His pace and physicality would make him a threat at League One level and his versatility as a forward would certainly increase Darren Moore’s tactical flexibility in key moments.