Sheffield Wednesday manager Garry Monk has suggested the Owls were considering recalling defender Matt Penney from his loan spell with German second division side St Pauli in January and believes he could have a long-term future at the club.
Penney made 16 appearances for the Owls in the Championship last season, but the defender was allowed to make the move to St Pauli in the summer to spend the season in Germany, where he has linked up with former Sheffield Wednesday manager Jos Luhukay.
The defender has been limited to just ten appearances for St Pauli so far this campaign, having been ruled out for a six week spell with a calf injury, and Penney returned to Sheffield Wednesday to train with the first team squad during the winter break in Germany, which provided Monk with the chance to assess his qualities.
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Speaking to the Sheffield Star, Monk suggested that the Owls were really considering recalling Penney from his loan spell, before deciding to allow the defender to remain in Germany to get more regular game time, but he also feels he is the sort of player who Sheffield Wednesday could rely on next season.
He said: “The plan was to have a good look at him but unfortunately when he came back he picked up a slight injury in that time.
“He was probably only in training for three or four days before we had to give a decision on whether he goes back or not, so that wasn’t long enough to really see him.
“I’ve seen Matt before, but four days isn’t enough to judge whether he can help right here and right now.
“He’s someone that come the summer, we want to have a good look and give him the opportunity to show what he can do.
“It could be potentially a good fit. The age is good, the mentality is good, the profile for him is really, really good.”
These are interesting comments from Monk, who was clearly suitably impressed by Penney’s performances in training during the German winter break, and that could mean that the Sheffield Wednesday manager views him as someone who could form an important part of the squad in the next few years.
However, Penney’s current contract runs out in the summer, which means that the Owls will need to asses whether they are wanting to offer him a new deal when he returns in the summer from his loan spell, and it seems as though that is something which Monk would be willing to do based on these comments.
The defender will have been learning a lot from being a part of St Pauli’s first team squad throughout the season so far, and experiencing another country and style of play will be highly influential for his development and progression.
Penney will be hoping that he can continue to make an impression with the German club for the rest of the season, and then look to sort his long-term future out in the summer at the end of his loan spell in Germany, and he could potentially play an important role for the Owls if he does sign a new deal at the club.