Sheffield Wednesday are determined to gain promotion back into the Championship at the first time of asking this season but should they add another striker to the mix in order to achieve it?
The Owls have begun life in the third tier relatively well.
They’re ninth in the table currently and are therefore well amongst the teams battling it out for a play-off spot. They’ve also notched up more wins than losses and are only a point off sixth place.
However, one stat that does perhaps need addressing comes in the goalscoring column.
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Bailey Peacock-Farrell and the rest of his defence have proven to be adept at their job, having conceded just nine so far – the least in the division. When it comes to actually bagging the goals themselves though, that is where Wednesday have struggled.
They’ve scored just 11 in 11 so far which, although it may amount to a goal a game on average, is less than any other team above them and quite a lot of the teams below them to boot. If they want to ensure they continue to compete at the right end of the table, then it’s an issue that may need addressing by Darren Moore in January.
The current strike force has the likes of Lee Gregory, Saido Berahino, Callum Paterson and Florian Kamberi. While the former of the four is the current top scorer at the club with three (and also has two assists), he went six fixtures without scoring. It means that while he is a good asset to have and can still contribute, there is perhaps a lack of goalscoring consistency from him so far.
Berahino has not always been deployed as a striker – often as a winger or in a more attacking midfield role – so shouldn’t be banked upon for frequent finishes and has only scored one himself. Callum Paterson has also been thrown into a variety of positions and has only managed two goals so far too.
As for Kamberi, he is a more central striker but only has one to his name.
Going forward, they’ll need to ensure a more consistent source of goals, as spreading the goals amongst several forwards is not always sustainable. With them not scoring many either, is it a case of the Owls looking for an out-and-out striker in January to either partner Gregory or step in for him when he isn’t in the starting eleven?
Sheffield Wednesday do have a number of forward options at the moment but they aren’t all proven, clinical and consistent goal-getters and some are also thrown into several different positions, rather than just being relied upon as a central attacker who can get the goals and feed off the scraps from others.
They do have good wingers in the side – Theo Corbeanu has looked lively, Berahino can play on the wing and offer something there and likewise so can Marvin Johnson for example – but they need a more frequent and consistent attacking outlet to get the ball to.
The Owls then should certainly consider offloading some of their current attacking options in the winter window, whether on loan or permanently. They should then look to freshen it up and bring in someone who can either provide a more prominent attacking outlet up top or someone who has the potential to develop into one and have high resale value. Right now, their youngest forward (not on loan) is 26. Gregory is 33, Johnson 30 and Berahino 28 and still relatively unproven at this level.
Who could the Owls go for then? Asking for a regular goalscorer is all well and good but they’re hard to come by and not cheap.
Even if they just looked at a loan deal to tide them over until summer, it could be better than the situation now.
inan Davis from Aston Villa has been wanted higher up the football pyramid and if they could seal a loan – with a potential to buy – he could end up with a lot higher resale value.
If they wanted a more permanent fix, then they should look to their own division or slightly lower. Gerard Garner has bagged more than any other Owls player so far this year and is only 23-years-old for example.
Fleetwood may not want to let him go but the Owls are promotion contenders and if they could lodge a big enough bid, the player could be tempted by the potential for future Championship football.
They’re just a few examples but the Owls could certainly do with looking for a new forward in January. That extra boost up front could certainly be all they need to land that promotion that they so desperately long for.