Cardiff City will be one side hoping for a much-improved Championship campaign when the new season gets underway in six weeks’ time.
The Bluebirds began last term with Paul Trollope at the helm but soon found themselves near the wrong end of the table, resulting in the 45-year-old’s dismissal in October after just two wins in 12 matches.
And it saw Neil Warnock make a return to football by taking over at the Cardiff City Stadium, who then went on to win 15 of his 35 league games in charge to lead the club to a 12th place finish in the Championship, 18 points adrift of the top six.
Yet the former Sheffield United and Queens Park Rangers boss will surely be looking up the division next term in a bid to get Cardiff back to the Premier League once again, but it’s clear that further reinforcements may be needed this summer to aid in that quest.
And one man they could target is Sheffield Wednesday outcast Lewis McGugan, who looks set to leave Hillsborough this summer.
The 28-year-old moved to the club permanently in 2015 after decent loan spells there the year before, but failed to make a single appearance last term, and wasn’t even given a squad number to demonstrate how far down the pecking order he really is.
And recent reports suggest that ‘several Championship sides’ are interested in the former Nottingham Forest playmaker, and one of those should be Warnock’s Cardiff, as McGugan has proven in the past to be hugely adept at this level.
The Englishman has played 231 times at Championship level during his career, and in that time has bagged 48 goals and laid on 34 assists, equating to a contribution every 179 minutes.
And at Championship level, that’s a very healthy return, and surely one side must be able to benefit from McGugan’s presence, even if it’s not Sheffield Wednesday.
His free-kick ability is superb, his control is excellent, and his vision is second to none – he can make a huge difference to any side in the division.
And that is why Warnock, who will be hoping to lead a promotion charge at Cardiff next season, should consider a move this summer, as those sides near the top will need those players that can turn a match on its head – McGugan is one of those.
His work ethic has sometimes been in question, but having a player with his unquestionable quality in the final third would hugely benefit Cardiff, and given it probably wouldn’t cost too much to bring him to South Wales, it’s a move Warnock and the Bluebirds hierarchy should seriously consider this summer.