This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
The transfer race for Josh Windass of Sheffield Wednesday is seemingly heating up, with Stoke City entering the race for his services, according to the Sheffield Star.
The 27-year-old scored nine times for the Owls in the Championship last season, but his goals and assists were not enough to keep the Yorkshire club in the second tier.
Windass as of now is a League One player for the 2021-22 season but there is a boatload of interest in him, with relegated Premier League sides West Brom and Fulham being two outfits that have previously been linked.
Per the Sheffield Star though, it is Millwall who have made the first offer for Windass, but it has been rejected by the Owls – however the news may trigger bids from other clubs including from Michael O’Neill at Stoke.
Would a move to the Potters be a good one for Windass though? The FLW team have had their say.
This would be a very good bit of business for Stoke City.
It’s clear from last season that the Potters need more goalscoring options. They simply couldn’t find the net enough and that’s why they weren’t capable of properly pushing for a top six place.
So, Windass will help on that front. He scored nine times for a poor Sheffield Wednesday side and he would improve Stoke with his running power and his intelligent movement. Plus, the fact he is capable of playing in several different attacking positions is another positive.
When you consider that the Owls are unlikely to be able to demand a big fee considering their situation, this could be a bargain signing and one that Stoke should look to close swiftly if possible.
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With Joe Allen being offered to other clubs this summer, we already know finances at the bet365 Stadium are very tight.
But the Potters need a replacement for (and potentially an upgrade on) Lee Gregory who is likely to leave for free this summer on the expiry of his contract – and Windass could be an affordable replacement.
Although the 27-year-old is still under contract at Hillsborough, the striker is understood to only have one year left on his contract and interested sides could negotiate a cut-price deal. However, whether Stoke can afford him will depend on how many sides compete for the forward and how much they bid for his services.
With Steven Fletcher turning 35 next year and Sam Vokes’ future looking uncertain as well, it would be a good bit of business to finalise IF the price is right.
They must not go over budget this summer with the EFL’s profit and sustainability rules continuing to hang over sides in the Championship like a dark cloud.
Let’s move on to Windass’ performances – for a man who performed for a struggling side, nine goals and six assists in 41 appearances is a tidy return and is likely to do even better for a club competing in mid-table as Stoke City have in recent seasons.
Michael O’Neill will need to have monitored his role in Sheffield Wednesday’s setup last season though so he can get the very best out of the 27-year-old.
I think Windass is certainly more than deserving of his chance in the Championship after impressing for Sheffield Wednesday last season.
He scored 10 goals and chipped in with six assists for a struggling Sheffield Wednesday side last season, and he could be a key signing if he were to play behind the striker.
The future of Nick Powell is one that can never really be looked upon as a certainty, especially with the midfielder set to be out of contract at the end of next season.
Windass, then, could be seen as a shrewd, ready-made replacement for Powell, and it would show that they are proactive and are planning ahead of the situation amid previous failures in that department.
With his contract up at Wednesday at the end of next season, Stoke could definitely get him for a cut-price here and it would be a great deal.