Sheffield Wednesday are continuing to step up their preparation for next season, with the club weighing up a move for Wigan Athletic defender Chey Dunkley, as exclusively revealed by Football League World.
The Owls will be keen to push on from their promising end to last season under Steve Bruce, and they may need to look for defensive reinforcements if they are to do that next season.
This would certainly be an interesting move for The Owls to make, and we’ve taken a closer look at it here in our latest six point opinion piece.
Firstly, would this be a good signing for Sheffield Wednesday?
“This would be a good move for The Owls.
“Dunkley has impressed since stepping up to the Championship with Wigan this season, having played a big role in their promotion as League One champions in his debut campaign for the club after joining from Oxford in the summer of 2017.
“The centre back has stepped up in the absence of captain Dan Burn this season following his move to Brighton, helping to control a defence largely made up of newcomers to the club around him.
“With Player of the Season Michael Hector’s loan at Hillsborough now over, Wednesday may need to find alternatives in central defence, and Dunkley certainly appears to be a viable one.”
Will Wigan want to sell?
“Not if they don’t have to.
“Dunkley played a big role last season in keeping the Latics in the Championship as the focal point of their defence, and you feel he will have to do so again if they are to stay in the division next season.
“Having already released Jonas Olsson at the end of the season, loosing Dunkley would leave Wigan worryingly short in central defence, forcing them into the transfer market to find a player they probably weren’t planning to have to look for.”
How much will Wigan want for Dunkley?
“He may have joined on a free transfer, but he certainly won’t be leaving on one this summer.
“Wigan will not want to let such an important player go easily, and with his contract set to expire next summer, they may now be forced to go into negotiations with the 27-year-old.
“That could mean putting a significant price tag in place to try and hold off Wednesday while they look to get a deal sorted, so you imagine any fee would be upwards of £1million.”
Would Wednesday pay that?
“They might not be able to.
“According to The Sun, Wednesday may be under the same soft transfer embargo as Championship rivals Reading, meaning they would have to get permission from the EFL to complete any signings such as Dunkley.
“With Wednesday’s finances having come under increasing scrutiny over the past season, this latest news may make it easier for Wigan to price The Owls out a move than were they to have do so with another Championship side.”
Will Dunkley be interested in a move to Wednesday?
“This is a move that should tempt him.
“Wigan spent almost all of last season battling against relegation from the Championship, and with key players Reece James and Nick Powell not set to be at the club next season following the expiration of their loan and contract respectively, it could be another long season for the Latics.
“By contract Wednesday ended the season promisingly under Steve Bruce, and there is talk of a push for promotion to the Premier League next season in their first full campaign under the former Wigan boss.
“That should surely make Hillsborough the more appealing destination for Dunkley.”
Finally, where would it leave Wigan if Dunkley does go?
“In quite a bit of trouble defensively.
“As well as the expiration of the loan of Reece James and release of Jonas Olsson, left back Antonee Robinson’s temporary move from Everton is also over, meaning that Dunkley’s departure could leave them looking for four defensive recruits.
“Bringing that many in and then gelling them into a unit will be a big ask for any side, let alone one that was battling relegation last season such as Wigan, so this is surely a situation that the Latics will be desperate to avoid in order to give them the best possible chance of survival again next season.”