Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Barry Bannan has insisted that he wants the Owls to try and keep hold of defender Tom Lees this summer and not allow him to leave on a free transfer.
Lees is one of the many Sheffield Wednesday players facing an uncertain future heading into the summer, with the experienced defender’s current deal set to expire at the end of the campaign. Contract talks have reportedly been placed on hold by the Owls until they know for sure whether they will be playing in League One, or the Championship next season.
The defender was forced off the field in the Owls’ defeat at Middlesbrough last time out, but Jamie Smith has revealed that he has not suffered a fracture or break to his ankle. However, the Sheffield Wednesday assistant manager did reveal he would still be out of Saturday’s crucial clash against Nottingham Forest.
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Speaking to the Sheffield Star, Bannan suggested that the defender is going to be a major miss in the last two games now if he is out injured for both of them. While he also insisted that he wants him to be kept hold of for next term.
He said: “He’s been amazing. Since I’ve been here he’s been brilliant and is a massive part of this squad.
“He’s going to be a massive miss in these two games because his leadership qualities and how he’s performed this season, it’s a big miss for us.
“Hopefully he can get the news that he wants, he’s not out for too long and he can get back to fitness.
“We don’t know what’s happening with Tom’s contract but personally I’d love him to stay here and help us next season.”
You can understand why Bannan wants a player like Lees to stick around the dressing room for next season, especially if the Owls are faced with the prospect of League One football. They will need strong characters and leaders in their squad if they are to bounce back at the first time of asking, which are qualities that the defender can bring to the table.
There are some doubts though over whether Lees is suited to the way that Darren Moore is going to want his side to play in the long-term. Already we have seen a couple of poor mistakes in possession from the defender with Moore aiming to get his players to build the play from the back at times.
Some fans will be keen for the club to keep Lees, and feel that he is more than good enough to still make an impact for them. However, there are others who will disagree with Bannan and will be wanting his time at the club to come to an end and them to move on with some fresh signings.