Bundesliga expert Matthew Karagich believes that Sheffield Wednesday duo Joost van Aken and Matt Penney are having indifferent campaigns in Germany’s second tier.
Van Aken is currently out on loan with Vfl Osnabruck whereas Penney has linked back up with former Wednesday boss Jos Luhukay at St. Pauli. Both of these sides ply their trade in Germany’s second division with both of the clubs currently placed in the middle of the table before the break in play. However, both sides will need to get some points on the board between the restart of play and the end of the campaign to ensure they don’t slip into the 3.Liga.
Karagich told YorkshireLive that the pair were enjoying indifferent seasons with their respective outfits with Dutchman van Aken seemingly finding his loan spell to Germany to be a lot more productive than Wednesday academy graduate Penney. He said: “The Dutch defender has had a relatively solid spell, making 20 appearances in the 2.Bundesliga this season.
“He has been a prominent feature for Daniel Thioune’s side, who sit in lower mid-table. Osnabruck have been plagued with defensive issues in 2020, but van Aken has remained stable throughout that period. When Thioune swings the changes in defence, van Aken remains in the starting XI.”
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Penney struggled to make an impact at Hillsborough with his only run in the team coming under Luhukay before he was eventually sacked in December of 2018. His move to St. Pauli has certainly a fair share of ups and downs so far with the Wednesday loanee playing his part in the club’s derby day victory over Hamburg. Karagich continued: “Penny has been in and out of the St. Pauli squad, not quite cementing his spot at left-back under Luhukay.
“He has only clocked 824 minutes from 12 appearances, and despite an impressive debut against rivals Holstein Kiel he did get sent off in stoppage time. The 22-year-old did miss six games due to injury during November and December.”
It appears that both men will be back at Hillsborough following the conclusion of the current 2.Bundesliga campaign with the pair returning to a club that will be playing Championship football for an eighth straight season next year. Wednesday manager Garry Monk will have to reassess both van Aken’s and Penny’s role in the squad for the 2020/2021 season as they surely gear up for a push to return to the Premier League.
Wednesday fans will be happy to receive an update on the progress of both of these players, especially Penny as he came through the club’s academy system. He is a player that is well thought of amongst the Hillsborough faithful after getting a taste of first team football last season. He certainly appeared like he needed a fresh start to get out and play some games, but it appears that he has faced barriers during his time in Germany.
Both players will have an eye on forging their way into Monk’s plans for next season with the squad needing a bit of work heading into the summer transfer window. The former Leeds United manager will want his side to maintain a push for the promotion places this season and will be disappointed if he sees his side tail away like they have done since the start of 2020.