Sheffield Wednesday supporters have been pretty quiet in the Transfer Tavern after seeing their side embark upon a slow start to the 2018/19 Championship season.
Jos Luhukay’s men secured a 15th place finish in the second tier last time round and expectations among supporters were for their side to improve upon that effort this term, yet early indications suggest that they could be in for a tough season. And that’s because the Owls have managed to pick up four points from their opening four league matches, losing away games at Wigan Athletic and Brentford alongside drawing 1-1 with Hull City at Hillsborough less than two weeks ago, before beating Millwall 2-1 at home on Wednesday night.
And with a transfer embargo crippling the club for much of the summer, there have been many downbeat Sheffield Wednesday fans up and down the country in recent times, although that has now been lifted leaving Luhukay with the opportunity to improve his squad.
And with their backline somewhat struggling in the early phase of the season, they simply have to strengthen that particular area of the pitch, and West Ham’s £4.5 million-rated sensation Reece Oxford (as per Transfermarkt) could well be the man for the job.
Ultimately, the Owls have yet to keep a clean sheet in the Championship this term in shipping seven goals in their opening four games, and while that number isn’t hugely alarming, it simply has to be reduced if Luhukay’s men are to climb the division.
And with some players playing out of position in recent times, what with Ash Baker lining up at right back and Daniel Pudil at centre back in their 2-0 defeat to Brentford on Sunday, they need greater solidarity in that area of the field – Oxford’s arrival could bring that.
The 19-year-old has been tipped by many to be the next big-thing in English football after making his West Ham debut at the age of 16, yet failed loan spells at Reading and Borussia Monchengladbach have called into question whether he will indeed fulfil that potential.
And while those temporary spells away from the London Stadium are likely to concern Owls supporters, one mustn’t forget that the Englishman has all the traits to go on and become a quality centre back, be it aerial presence and strength in the tackle, or indeed the ability to bring the ball out of defence with composure and calmness.
Thus, it appears that Oxford is in need of regular football at a competitive level to really hone in on his talents, while the ability to also play in a defensive midfield role is sure to be of interest to Wednesday boss Luhukay, who has so far been able to add just one player to his Owls squad.
And with the long, hard slog that is the Championship season likely to take it out of the players, having options in several positions is vital if the Owls are to climb the table this time round.
As such, with the Wednesday backline clearly in need of strengthening, West Ham’s Oxford could well be the man to do the job.
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