This article is part of Football League World’s ‘What does the future hold?’ series, this content strand is where we evaluate and subjectively debate a player’s future at their current club…
Sam Winnall faces an unknown future at Sheffield Wednesday with the Owls forward seemingly out of favour under boss Garry Monk.
Winnall has only made 13 appearances for the Owls so far this campaign with his last outing coming against Wigan Athletic at the end of January. The forward has had a tough time of it at Hillsborough after a promising start to his career with both Scunthorpe United and South Yorkshire side Barnsley, whom Sheffield Wednesday bought the striker from back in 2017.
Injuries have plagued his time with the Owls as he has only made 43 appearances in four seasons with Wednesday and has scored just six goals during his stay in Sheffield, which will not convince Monk that he will be worthy of a new deal when his contract expires at the end of the current season.
Winnall’s best spell in recent seasons came during his loan spell with Derby County as he helped them reach the Championship play-offs back in the 2017/2018 campaign. He showed what a good run of games can do for him as he netted six times in 17 times before brutally having his season cut short due to the striker damaging his ACL.
He returned to Sheffield Wednesday for his rehabilitation but has never appeared to look at home whilst in the blue and white and, therefore, it is very possible that he could be looking for a new club in the summer window. It was widely believed that he would leave Wednesday in the January window with Sunderland just one of the clubs who were interested in taking Winnall off Sheffield Wednesday, but a move never materialised.
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Winnall would have been a success in the North East with the Wednesday man possessing qualities that the current Sunderland forwards do not have. He is slightly more mobile than the likes of Will Grigg and Kyle Lafferty and is a proven goalscorer in League One, showcasing that during his spell with Barnsley as he notched on 21 occasions during the 2015/2016 as they won promotion to the Championship.
With the striker’s deal set to run out at the end of the season, it is likely that Monk will decide against offering him fresh terms as he looks to build a side that can mount a push for promotion to the Premier League. Despite his previous experience in playing his part in a play-off campaign at Pride Park, Winnall will most likely be looking for a new club once the current campaign has concluded.
But where could Winnall end up? The striker would be a great addition to any side in the Championship, especially those sides that are vying for promotion in League One this season. His ability to hold the ball up and bring others into play was showcased expertly during his spell with Derby a couple of seasons ago with Winnall also showing that he has an eye for goal. Inside the penalty area is where he comes alive as the Wednesday man understands where to position himself to ensure that he is able to get a shot on target.
At this very moment in time it appears that Winnall will end his stay at Hillsborough in the summer window as he searches for a club to prove his ability in the Championship. His release could easily come back to haunt Sheffield Wednesday should he secure a move to a side in the Championship for next season.