Sheffield Wednesday: Why Owls may opt for a large squad

Carlos Carvalhal
Carlos Carvalhal

Expect Sheffield Wednesday to head into the 2016/17 season carrying a large squad.

That is largely down to the fact that the Championship outfit will be unable to rely anymore on the emergency loan window.

World governing body FIFA have scrapped the short-term system, claiming it is to protect the “sporting integrity of the competition”.

The rule changes mean Football League clubs will have to do all their recruiting before the end of August. The transfer market reopens in January so quantity as well as quality will be required.

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Clubs will have to strategically look at where they need to strengthen. In Wednesday’s case, the Championship Play-Off finalists may be forced to run with a bigger squad and spend more money on wages so they have necessary cover for any injuries or suspensions.

The last thing Owls chief Carlos Carvalhal will want is for them to be caught short. Better to have lots of options at your disposal than too few.

Carvalhal, a big believer in squad rotation, prefers to have competition for places. He likes to have a minimum of two players fighting for a starting spot per position.

“When a player has an internal fight for a position, he knows he must be at a high level,” he said. “If not, he can lose the position. It means all of them must push each other a lot.”

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To combat the changes, some lower league clubs will promote youth, calling up young, inexperienced homegrown players. It is doubtful whether Wednesday, who trimmed their development squad last week, releasing Ryan Croasdale, Brad Beatson, Ryan Meadows, Will De Havilland, Courtney Wildin and Luke Booker, will go down that route. There currently aren’t many youngsters in their academy who are ready to make the step up.

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