Sheffield Wednesday: Owls rule out letting Almen Abdi leave in January

Wednesday have ruled out the possibility of selling midfielder Almen Abdi when the transfer window reopens in January.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 25th November 2016, 5:04 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 3:23 pm
Almen Abdi
Almen Abdi

Swiss international Abdi has struggled to make an impact since moving to Hillsborough last July, making just seven starts and three substitute appearances.

The 30-year-old was the most notable absentee as the Owls were held to a 1-1 draw at Fulham last weekend.

But despite Abdi’s poor start to life at Wednesday, head coach Carlos Carvalhal has dismissed the notion the former Udinese player will be allowed to leave in the New Year, claiming the Championship club have “never considered” cashing in on him.

As long as Abdi recovers from a sickness bug which has prevented him from training over the last 48 hours, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that he will feature in tomorrow’s clash at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

“Almen is a player we believe in,” stressed Carvalhal. “He didn’t train on Wednesday or yesterday as he was ill.

“It has been a hard week for him because he has been ill.

“We want him to be well and performing well.”

When pressed if whether Wednesday will ever see the best of Abdi, Carvalhal said: “I don’t know. I can’t answer that. I’m a coach, not a player.”

The Portuguese chief defended his decision to leave him out of the match-day squad at Craven Cottage, insisting he wanted to balance his bench accordingly.

“I choose the players who I believe are best to win games,” he said. “We live with the results and must win games.”

Wednesday were dealt a major blow this week with the news that Gary Hooper faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines. The striker has been in fine form, scoring three goals in his last seven outings and chipping in with two assists. The Star understands Hooper is likely to be out of action for a minimum of four weeks.

“Gary Hooper will be out for some time,” Carvalhal admitted. “He will be out weeks but I don’t know how many weeks.

“It is his hamstring so we have to be careful but I don’t want to put pressure on him. We want him to make a full recovery and be healthy again. That is the most important thing.”

Despite Hooper’s injury setback, Carvalhal is confident the Owls can cope without him.

“Gary played very well last week (at Fulham), and been doing well and finding goals but this is the life,” he said. “He is not available to play; we have more players to play in attack.

“We like to have all the players and Gary is an important player.

“It is good that Lucas (Joao) is back again; he is more ready than last week. He’s had around two and a half weeks of training.

“If someone can’t play someone will take his responsibility and we believe in all the players in the squad.”