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 goalkeeper Keiren Westwood has signed a new two-year contract with the Championship club, as confirmed on the club website.
The 34-year-old began his career with Manchester City but did not make an appearance before joining Carlisle, going on to have spells with Coventry City and Sunderland before joining the Owls in 2014.
So how big a boost is Westwood’s contract extension for the Owls?
“This is fantastic news for the Owls.
“Westwood has proven himself to be a top keeper at this level over the years and the way he was frozen out under Jos Luhukay was ridiculous.
“As soon as he came back into the side the results improved and he really is a calming influence on the team. That experience could be vital to the Owls moving forward too as they look to push for promotion.
“This had to be a priority for Wednesday this summer, so to tie down the Irishman is a great bit of business and it means they will head into the new season with one of the best stoppers in the league and he fully warrants his new two-year deal.”
“Absolutely, this is going to be one of the key deals at Hillsborough this summer.
“The Westwood situation last season led to a lot of raised eyebrows, but his class showed when Steve Bruce introduced him back into the first-team fold at the turn of the year.
“He singlehandedly won the Owls points, and even in defeats – like the one at Elland Road – he kept Wednesday in contests when they could’ve been on the receiving end of cricket scores.
“A two-year deal is fair and this will hopefully kick-start Wednesday’s summer.”
“I am not sure about a massive boost but it’s certainly a significant positive.
“I like Cameron Dawson and think he will be solid option for the Owls in future seasons but there is no doubting that he is still not on Westwood’s level.
“The Northern Irishman was brilliant in the final months of last season after being brought back in from the cold by Bruce so it makes perfect sense to offer him a new deal.
“He is someone with a very strong connection to the fans, however, and that is something that cannot be brought and could well be crucial in the coming campaign.”