Sheffield Wednesday are becoming the ‘nearly men’ of the Sky Bet championship, having suffered a second play-off disappointment in two years, during the 2016/17 campaign, as they lost out to Huddersfield Town in the semi-finals last month.
Carlos Carvalhal will be looking to make minor changes to his squad over the summer, with hope he can help Wednesday return to the top-flight for the first time since 2000 next season.
One of Carvalhal’s stars, Barry Bannan, has revealed that Wednesday’s players have already discussed next season, insisting the top-two will be the aim for the Owls in 2018 – even if they fail to add to their current squad.
An area that Carvalhal will surely want to strengthen over the summer is left-back, which proved to be a problem position during the 2016/17 campaign, with Wednesday using three different players in that position.
Adam Reach offered Carvalhal a steady option at left-back, but he excelled when playing in a more advanced position, whilst Daniel Pudil and Morgan Fox struggled to hold down place in the starting XI.
A player Carvalhal should make an ambitious move for is Fulham’s Scott Malone, who enjoyed a fantastic 2016/17 campaign at Craven Cottage, as the Cottagers reached the play-off semi-finals.
Malone, 26, made 38 Championship appearances last season, scoring six goals and earning himself a place in the Team of the Season.
If Carvalhal has the same ambition as his players heading into next season, he must not look to make mass changes to his playing squad, but strengthen certain areas of his team with real quality.
Left-back was a real problem position for Wednesday last season, and the addition of Malone this summer, could really help the Owls in their quest for automatic promotion.