Sheffield Wednesday went very close to earning a promotion to the Premier League after finishing 4th in the Championship table but failed to cross the line. The Owls succumbed in the play-off semi-finals against Huddersfield Town, which meant that Sheffield Wednesday have to now toil in the second division for at least one more season.
However, it was indeed relishing seeing the Hillsborough-based outfit yielding productive and appealing results more often than not last season and they should not let their spirits wither away into nothingness after failing to get promoted. Carlos Carvalhal is attempting to bolster his squad for the upcoming campaign and one of the players to have fallen on his radar is Newcastle United’s centre-back Grant Hanley.
Hanley emerged through the youth ranks of two notable sides in the shapes of Rangers and Blackburn Rovers. He was eventually elevated to the senior side of the latter and he enjoyed six seasons with them. It was with the Riversiders where he carved a name for himself by plying his trade on a regular basis and being a very consistent customer, before being acquired by the Magpies last summer.
However, he failed to be a regular candidate in the backline of Rafael Benitez who used him sparingly. Last season in the English second division, the Scottish international could muster merely 10 appearances to his name, half of which were as a substitute and in the process, he scored 1 goal and registered 0.1 tackles, 0.9 interceptions, 3 clearances and 0.2 blocks per game on an average.
Undoubtedly, these statistics aren’t groundbreaking but he has much better things to offer. Hanley is a modern-day no-nonsense defender who is very comfortable on the ball, enjoys the rigours of English football and is hardly seen losing his cool at the back. Besides, he intercepts the ball really well and is sound in the air and a player like him should be personally keen to get more game time under his belt.
With a transfer fee which is seemingly likely to be in the vicinity of £5million which the Toons paid to get him to St. James’ Park, he would be a shrewd addition to Sheffield Wednesday’s arsenal. The 25-year-old has immense experience at club level as well as at the national level with Scotland and considering that he is one of the most humorous and mischievous faces in the Championship, he would be able to lift the spirits in the dressing room as well.
Statistics Credits: WhoScored