OWLS SET TO FLY BACK INTO THE PIC­TURE

The Football League Paper - - CHRIS DUNLAVY -

SHEFFIELD WED­NES­DAY may not look too threat­en­ing now.

But it won’t be long be­fore the Owls are bar­ing their talons.

The £3m sign­ing of Fer­nando Forestieri on dead­line day took the club’s to­tal spend dur­ing the last trans­fer win­dow to a smidge un­der £9m.

It is 16 years since the Owls splurged that kind of cash in a sin­gle sum­mer, 15 since so much was lav­ished on a sin­gle player – the goal-shy Bel­gian flop Gilles de Bilde.

Clearly, Wed­nes­day are in rude health af­ter a decade at death’s door, the elixir ad­min­is­tered by Thai owner De­jphon Chan­siri and Jan­uary’s £30m takeover.

More il­lu­mi­nat­ing is the fact that only the Cham­pi­onship’s ‘Big Four’ – Burn­ley, QPR, Mid­dles­brough and Derby – can boast a higher net spend.

Yet whilst the big boys have at­tracted ‘money­bags’ head­lines, the Owls have slipped stealth­ily un­der the radar.

Mainly, that’s be­cause these are for­ma­tive steps, the first flex­ings of Chan­siri’s fi­nan­cial mus­cles.

Ev­ery­one can see that Wed­nes­day’s squad still lacks depth and gen­uine star qual­ity.

But it doesn’t take long for word to get around that a club is wav­ing their wal­let around.

Play­ers and their agents must be eye­ing Hills­bor­ough like Yogi eyes honey.

This time next year, don’t be sur­prised if man­ager Car­los Car­val­hal has the best side in the di­vi­sion – and the ti­tle ex­pec­ta­tions to match.

NEW SIGN­ING: Forestieri

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