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…
Sheffield Wednesday caretaker manager Lee Bullen must be pinching himself after the Owls’ start to the season, that has seen them pick up two wins and sit top of the Championship table after two rounds of league fixtures.
One new recruit at Hillsborough is Australian international Massimo Luongo, who joined from QPR this summer, but who has so far only been used from the subtitutes bench in the Owls’ latest win against Barnsley.
As the season progresses, do you expect Luongo to remain an impact sub at Wednesday or could you see him becoming a frequent starter?
“I can see him start to work his way into the starting XI a bit more.
“Lee Bullen has already spoken about the need to manage the workload of certain players in midfield this season, and with Barry Bannan also currently out injured, you imagine there will be some rotation sooner rather than later.
“Somehow I’d be surprised if Luongo had made the move to Wednesday simply to sit on the bench and play a few minutes at the end of each game, so you imagine he too will be pushing for more game time.
“Having been a regular starter during his time at QPR, Luongo will surely be expecting a similar role with Wednesday, and there is no doubt he will capable of carrying it out.”
“I imagine he’ll grow into the first-team over the next months.
“For now, however, the duo of Lee and Hutchinson is proving impressive for the Owls in that area and it would be harsh on either to be dropped at the moment.
“But, given the injury issues Lee has had, he will have to be rotated and I fancy Luongo to grab his chance when it comes his way.
“He was one of QPR’s most consistent performers throughout last season and I would be surprised if he is not in a similar position to that by the end of this campaign.”
“I think that it is only a matter of time before Luongo breaks into Wednesday’s first team this season, he’s too good to be a benchwarmer.
“One of Queens Park Rangers’ star performers during the previous campaign, the Australian international knows exactly what it takes to thrive at Championship level and could very well emerge as a pivotal player for his new side.
“Whereas it won’t be easy for Luongo to displace the likes of Sam Hutchinson and Kieran Lee in Lee Bullen’s starting eleven, if he continues to shine as an impact substitute, he should be able to overcome this duo.
“Despite having made over 200 professional appearances during his career, the 26-year-old has yet to experience a promotion-winning season and thus will be keen to bring an end to this particular record by helping the Owls end their hiatus from the top-flight in 2020.”