This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Player View’ series, this content strand is where we put ourselves in the shoes of a given player, and offer opinion-based outlook on the perspective on the situation at hand…
Sheffield Wednesday defender Dominic Iorfa will need to continue his impressive recent performances if he is going to remain in the Owls’ starting line-up, following the latest news that Tom Lees is nearing a return to fitness.
Lees has missed Sheffield Wednesday’s last few matches having picked up a hamstring injury in the warm up ahead of the Owls’ 2-1 defeat against Queens Park Rangers at Hillsborough at the end of August, meaning the defender has yet to make an appearance under Garry Monk so far, but the Wednesday manager suggested in his press conference ahead of Saturday’s clash with Wigan Athletic that he nearing fitness.
💬 GM: We probably won’t risk Tom Lees for this game and look to bring him back after the break. He is on the training pitch and progressing well #swfcLIVE
— Sheffield Wednesday (@swfc) October 3, 2019
Iorfa has come into the side and slotted in alongside Julian Borner at the heart of Sheffield Wednesday’s defence in the absence of Lees, and the 24-year-old has put in some strong performances, managing to average two tackles and 3.5 clearances per game so far this term, according to whoscored.
The defender would have been frustrated at the start of the season, with Iorfa missing out on a place in the side with new signing Moses Odubajo mainly being preferred in the right-back position, and his only start in the first five league matches of the campaign came in Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat at Millwall.
However, after being moved into a centre-half position he has proven himself capable of being a reliable performer and forming an effective partnership with Borner, with his pace and power allowing him to recover swiftly when needed and prevent opposing team’s forwards from getting much space in and around the penalty area.
That has helped the Owls improve their form and climb up the Championship table, with Sheffield Wednesday managing to pick up seven points in Monk’s first three league games in charge of the club, before Tuesday’s narrow defeat at Hull.
Whilst it is unlikely Iorfa’s place in the side will be threatened by the returning Lees on Saturday against Wigan, it is likely that the 28-year-old defender’s return following the international break will put the 24-year-old’s place in Monk’s side in doubt in the coming weeks and months.
Iorfa will be needing to demonstrate the same level of performance he has been showing in recent games against Wigan, if he is going to be able to persuade Monk to keep him in the starting line-up, and there is more than a case that the defender deserves the chance to retain his place having earned the right through his performances.