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Loovens says Reading striker Lucas Joao was most gifted player at Sheffield Wednesday

Former Sheffield Wednesday captain Glenn Loovens told the Wednesday Week podcast how Lucas Joao was the most gifted player during his time at Hillsborough.

Loovens joined the Owls in 2013 and spent five years at the club before leaving in 2018.

During the Dutchman’s spell at Hillsborough, the Owls reached the playoffs twice under Carlos Carvalhal while owner Dejphon Chansiri spent in excess of £30 million on new players.

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Players such as Barry Bannan, Steven Fletcher, Adam Reach, Fernando Forestieri, Jordan Rhodes, Gary Hooper, Daniel Pudil and Almen Abdi make up a list of top names.

But Loovens claims Lucas Joao was the most talented at the club.

“He was quite unlucky with injuries all the time. He always had little niggles and stuff like that, so it always took him a little bit to get going. But he’s probably the most gifted player in the squad at Sheffield Wednesday [at the time]. Natural ability, he was strong, quick, he could jump and finish. Good technique. He had a lot of good things going for him. Sometimes you need to sell your best players on to make money to invest in new players,” Loovens explained.

Joao joined the Owls in 2015 alongside former teammate Marco Matias.

The 27-year-old made only 15 starts in his debut campaign at Hillsborough, before featuring more regularly between 2017-19 where he scored 19 goals over two seasons.

But Wednesday then made the controversial decision to sell him to Championship rivals Reading in 2019 for a fee reported to be in the region of £5 million.

Joao, now a two-capped Portugal international, has found his feet at promotion contenders Reading, scoring an impressive 17 goals in 25 league starts for the Royals this season.

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Wednesday, meanwhile, now find themselves 23rd in the table, scoring just 21 goals.

Loovens points out how sometimes you need to sell your best players to invest in new player. But in Joao’s case, the Owls have certainly failed to fill the void left by his departure.

Also see: ‘Made of cake’: Some Owls fans respond to yet another injury disappointment

Also see: Defender Monk tried to sign for Owls in 2020 draws comparison to £20m PL title-winner

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