Frederico Venâncio’s arrival on loan at Hillsborough marked a strong improvement in the Sheffield Wednesday backline.
Before his arrival, the Owls’ defence had kept four clean sheets in 22 matches; after his arrival, eight sides were shut out including Wolves, Cardiff, Derby, and Middlesbrough. Such an improvement has meant that Wednesday are keen on retaining the Portuguese centre back on a permanent basis.
However, reports on how much Venâncio’s parent club, Vitoria de Setubal, have demanded vary from £800,000 to £2.6 million. At the lower band, there should be no hesitation from Jos Luhukay. At 25, he is a proven defender in the Championship and entering his prime. Combined with the fact that he has already been shown to work well in the side, buying him for less than £1 million would be an absolute steal.
However, if the Portuguese side hold out for the £2.6 million, the best course of action is less clear. Wednesday have shown they are unafraid of spending such fees in the past and Venâncio’s performances certainly indicate that he could be worth it. Yet there were worrying performances too. Most notably against Aston Villa, he lacked composure and misplaced passes as Wednesday threw away a 2-1 lead to lose 4-2.
No player will always be perfect and it may be that he is worth the money. After all, worse players have been signed for more and the Owls could do a lot worse than signing a proven player who likes the club.
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