You may have seen over the last few weeks that a few teams in the Sky Bet Championship have become interested in signing Glenn Whelan. Stoke City are happy to sell him because they’ve signed Darren Fletcher and both Aston Villa and Derby County are interested in signing him.
But while Whelan has been at Stoke for nine years now, there is one other club he has a special affinity to. That team is Sheffield Wednesday, who played for between 2004 and 2008. He was a fan favourite while at Hillsborough and was the cause of one of their most iconic moments in recent history when he scored the first goal in extra time in their League One play-off final win against Hartlepool United back in 2005.
So of course, many Wednesday fans have been wondering why they aren’t one of the teams looking to sign Whelan. The club are obviously after a new central midfielder having been linked with the likes of Graham Dorrans and Bongani Zungu and with the teams after him being set to be the Owls rivals for promotion so you’d think it was a natural fit.
And I can see why it would appeal. Whelan has shown throughout his career that he is an all-around midfielder, someone who can be a workhorse as well as a goalscorer, though that beautiful goal as seen in the video above was when he was a much younger man. Plus there’s the mentality aspect as he’s been promoted before, both that one with Wednesday as well as with Stoke when they got to the Premier League, and maybe Wednesday need that extra experience considering they’ve come so close but have missed out before.
But personally, this isn’t the right move for Wednesday. It is obvious that Wednesday’s current strategy is to sign players who will be able to move up with them to the Premier League, as the teams that do best when they get promoted are often the ones which only make a few changes follow the jump up in leagues. And with Whelan being aged 33-years-old, I don’t think he is a suitable move for this strategy. He would cost a lot of money in wages for what would probably only be a year, and I can bet if Whelan’s agent is doing his job properly his deal will be longer than it.
Don’t get me wrong, if Wednesday were to sign Whelan, it would not be a bad signing. In fact it would be a decent one, I just think that he should be a back-up target rather than a priority if we are to be interested in him. Because if we’re completely honest, would we be thinking about this signing had he not played for the Owls before?