Former Sheffield Wednesday player Carlton Palmer doesn’t think the club should offer long-serving player Keiren Westwood a new contract as he ‘hasn’t heard good things’ about the Ireland international from the dressing room.
Westwood has been an Owl since 2014 having signed from Sunderland, and in his first few seasons at Hillsborough he showed himself to be one of the top stoppers in the second tier of English football.
But his time in S6 has been a mixed one – after three seasons of being a regular starter he suffered an injury in the 2017/18 season and then under new manager Jos Luhukay he wasn’t ever selected in a league squad in his 11-month stint as boss.
He returned following the appointment of Garry Monk but then found himself in a similar situation in late 2019 – Westwood was dropped, ostracised from the squad and would never make an appearance under Monk again until his sacking in October 2020 – even though Westwood later revealed that there was never a falling-out between the pair.
Westwood has been back in the first-team since under Tony Pulis, Neil Thompson and now Darren Moore, but issues with the first two managers have led to Carlton Palmer calling for Westwood to depart when his contract is up.
Palmer is a former England international and also played over 200 league games for Wednesday between 1989 and 1994 and is held in high regard at Hillsborough.
And from what he has heard from behind the scenes he believes that Westwood needs to depart in the summer for the whispers he’s heard which would suggest why previous managers Luhukay and Monk banished the stopper to the under-23’s.
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“From what I’ve heard previously, and especially under the managers that I know that have managed there like Garry Monk, I don’t hear good things about Keiren in the dressing room, I really don’t,” Palmer told FootballFanCast.
“He might be one of those that, you know, you need to move on.
“If you’re going to have a successful football club, you’ve got to have a good team spirit. You’ve got to have everybody singing from the same hymn sheet.
“If somebody is unhappy about a little thing, it now becomes a big thing because somebody’s unhappy about something for them and spreads it and then he talks and then that goes into the dressing room.
“And I believe too much of that’s happened at Sheffield Wednesday.
“And I think Keiren’s been a big part of what’s gone on there, that’s what I’ve heard. So I wouldn’t be rushing to tie him down at this moment in time.”
Strong words from Palmer indeed and considering he’s well thought of at Wednesday, you’d have to imagine he has connections at the club who he’s been talking to for him to make claims about Westwood like that.
Chances are we will never know the full story as to why the goalkeeper was dropped by both Luhukay and Monk – maybe it was a personality clash but the last three Owls bosses, including the current one, don’t seem to have had issues with the 36-year-old.
Whatever the case though, Westwood’s contract is up this summer and either way you’d imagine he’d have to take a wage cut if he was to stay at Hillsborough, especially if they’re relegated into League One – if Palmer had his way though he wouldn’t have him anywhere near the squad.