Sheffield Wednesday have returned to English soil after stepping up their pre-season preparations with a training camp in Portugal.
The Owls rounded off their trip with a 2-0 victory over Shrewsbury Town, but the latter end of the visit was clouded by reports linking manager Steve Bruce with the Newcastle job.
The 58-year-old has emerged as the frontrunner to replace Rafael Benitez at St James’ Park, with reports claiming his appointment is imminent.
However, there has been some positive news for Wednesday fans, with the club confirming the additions of Julian Horner and Moses Odubajo to the squad. Meanwhile, goalkeeper Keiren Westwood has extended his contract at the club.
With this considered, the Wednesday squad has had something of a reshuffle since last season’s conclusion with a number of players getting released. However, the Owls have not been forced into selling any of their key players so far, and many of them have returned to training with the squad ahead of the new season.
Here are some Instagram updates from the Owls’ pre-season preparations…
The Owls’ latest signing was all smiles in training prior to confirmation of his switch to Hillsborough on Thursday morning.
Odubajo was released by Brentford earlier this summer and he was signed by Bruce after the pair worked together during their time at Hull. However, their reunion may be short-lived with Bruce edging closer to the Newcastle job.
Nevertheless, Odubajo will provide Wednesday with Championship experience and pace on the right flank next season. His versatility will also be an asset to the Owls, as he can operate in both attacking and defensive roles.
Westwood took to Instagram to express his delight at signing a new two-year deal with the club, after putting pen to paper on fresh terms earlier this week.
The Irishman was a key figure during Wednesday’s revival under Bruce last season, as he regained his place from Cameron Dawson during the second half of the season.
It will come as a huge relief to Wednesday fans that Westwood will be around again next season, with the 34-year-old now set to provide a stable presence in between the Owls’ sticks until 2021.
Joost van Aken
Van Aken made a total of just two appearances for Wednesday last term, with injury ruling him out for the vast majority of the campaign.
He has now shared this image of him on the road to recovery during one of Wednesday pre-season training sessions, as he looks to step up his recovery ahead of the new season.
The defender joined the Owls in 2017 and he still has two years remaining on his contract, so he will be keen to establish himself in the manager’s plans next season.
Preston was not part of Wednesday’s trip to Portugal, but he was in action for the Under 23s during their 2-2 draw with Worksop Town earlier this week.
The forward made three league appearances under Jos Luhukay last season, but he did not feature for the Owls following Bruce’s appointment in the second half of the season.
The fact he was not included in the Owls’ tour party suggests Bruce did not see him as part of his plans for next season, but a possible change in manager could provide a clean slate for Preston and other young players to stake their claim to a place in the side.