This season hasn’t been the most settled for Josh Windass, as tensions grew at Wigan Athletic, culminating in a loan move to Sheffield Wednesday under Garry Monk to help revitalise his season.
Having joined the Latics last season, Windass had established himself as a player more than capable of plying his trade in the Championship after impressive spells at both Accrington Stanley and Rangers.
His time at the DW Stadium was stop-start as the whole side struggled for consistency, fighting at the wrong end of the table perennially, meaning that he hasn’t been able to showcase his true colours as of yet in the second tier.
Building up to January, there were growing indications that the 26-year-old was edging closer to a move away as the relationship between himself and Latics chief Paul Cook looked visibly strained.
A move then materialised in the last few hours of the January window as he sealed a loan to Sheffield Wednesday for the remainder of the season, to link up with Garry Monk, who was clearly a keen admirer of Windass’ talents.
In the meantime, Wednesday haven’t necessarily been making a good advert for themselves in the Championship, with just two league wins in 2020 so far against Leeds United and Charlton Athletic, but there is optimism that the rest of the season and beyond can be used to kickstart something of an upheaval at Hillsborough, with Windass potentially being one of the first names in to get this going.
Having joined on deadline day, we take a look at how Windass’ Owls career has started with an in-depth breakdown of his numbers so far…
A limited window of games to go off so far with just four appearances to his name and 253 minutes played, but there is always a good inkling of what type of player you can expect to see by how they hit the ground running.
That being said, it’s been a very solid start to life at Hillsborough for Windass with two goals in his first four games. The first came with his first shot in a Wednesday shirt away to Barnsley, where he latched onto a defensive error from the Tykes defence to power a low drive past Brad Collins and give Wednesday the lead that day, they didn’t go on to win that game but initial signs were very positive.
Have these players featured for both the Owls and Rotherham United?
His second goal came in the disappointing defeat at home to Derby County, where the Owls found themselves three down at half-time, and Windass came on to reduce the arrears to 3-1, getting on the end of a low cross from the right to slot home and add a consolation goal to a glum afternoon at Hillsborough for the hosts.
Out of just six shots, he has managed three on target and scored twice, with an expected goals score of just 1.21, showing that he’s managed to find a keen eye for goal already since signing.
A dynamic attacker with confidence to try make things happen on and off the ball, Windass’ ball retention has also been very impressive, with a passing accuracy of 75.6% despite playing in a number of different roles and formations as Monk looks to experiment and tinker with his squad. The 26-year-old has operated up front, out wide, in central midfield and in attacking midfield already and this might unsettle a lot of players into not showcasing their abilities well but Windass has managed to still put in steady performances wherever.
As alluded to, his driving with the ball is another strength, with a dribbling success of 77.8% so far (seven out of nine) and an average of 1.75 progressive runs per game, building attacks single-handedly.
In terms of his activity in the box, he has averaged 2.25 touches in the box per game for the Owls which might not seem like an awful lot, but it has to be taken with a pinch of salt that Wednesday aren’t exactly creating an awful lot in that regard, so to manage that whilst scoring twice is a testament to his start in S6.
His work off the ball is also another reason why he’s managed to fit in well with Garry Monk’s organised system, winning 55.6% of his offensive duels so far at Wednesday, both aerially and on the floor.
There’s no confirming whether a permanent move would be on the cards for Windass, but the club wouldn’t be going far wrong in signing him, if his first four games are anything to go off.