It has been a roller-coaster of a year to be a Sheffield Wednesday supporter, hasn’t it?
After harbouring hopes of a possible automatic promotion push at the start of the season, the Hillsborough-faithful were instead made to look over their shoulders as under the guidance of Jos Luhukay, the club slipped to 18th place in the Championship by December.
Following a dismal 2-1 defeat to Swansea City, the Portuguese manager was relieved of his duties by chairman Dejphon Chansiri who brought in Steve Bruce as his replacement in January.
Although he would not have known it at the time, the Thai businessman had pulled off somewhat of a masterstroke by bringing the 58-year-old to the club as over the course of three months, the Owls’ fortunes were completely transformed.
Having led his side to an 11 game unbeaten streak in the second tier, Bruce threatened to gatecrash the play-off positions yet ultimately fell short in his quest to extend Wednesday’s season past the 46 game mark.
Nevertheless, with the Yorkshire-based outfit in great shape to launch a sustained push for automatic promotion next season, the former Aston Villa boss will be confident that he can bring Premier League football back to the club in 2020.
However, any future success may depend on whether the Owls can resist any potential offers for Fernando Forestieri this summer.
If this is indeed true, the Owls must not even consider selling the £4.5m-rated ace (via Transfermarkt) as if they do, there could be several potential consequences that the club will have to face in the future.
Check them out below.
WEDNESDAY SUFFER YET ANOTHER SEASON OF MEDIOCRITY
After suffering a gut-wrenching defeat to Huddersfield Town in the play-offs in 2017, the Owls have failed to get anywhere near these heights in the past two seasons having finished 15th and 12th.
By cashing in on Forestieri, Bruce may risk yet another campaign of mediocrity as for all the forward’s flaws, his ability to change a game in an instant is what separates him from the rest of his team-mates.
Considering the size of the club, it would be simply unacceptable if they are not fighting it out for a top-six finish at the very least next year.
BRUCE FAILS TO RE-INVEST CORRECTLY IN THE SUMMER
If the Owls do receive a significant windfall in the summer for Forestieri, Bruce will understandably be wanting to use the money to bolster his squad ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.
However, when you consider that he has been very hit and miss with his recruitment in recent years during his spells at Hull City and Villa, it is not guaranteed that he will be able re-invest successfully when the transfer window opens.
By failing to add the right players, Wednesday may struggle to compete in one of the world’s most competitive leagues next season.
THE CHASM BETWEEN THE OWLS AND THEIR CITY RIVALS GROWS EVEN MORE
If you were to tell any Owls supporter three years ago that their arch-rivals would be a Premier League side in 2019, they would have laughed at you.
Yet whereas Wednesday have faltered in their attempts to secure promotion to the top-flight, the Blades’ decision to appoint Chris Wilder whilst they were in the third tier has allowed them to experience a remarkable rise to prominence which culminated in a second-place finish in the Championship earlier this month.
If United can somehow convince Forestieri to move to Bramall Lane, there is a real risk that the current chasm between the two Sheffield clubs grows even more, something which Bruce will be desperate to avoid as manager.