Sheffield Wednesday have been linked with a summer move for departing Rotherham United attacker Chiedozie Ogbene.
The Republic of Ireland international is set to become a free agent this month. His seemingly inevitable departure will come as a huge blow to Rotherham United who finished in 19th and six points above the drop zone last season – largely because of Ogbene’s 12 goal contributions in the Championship.
BBC Sheffield reporter Rob Staton revealed earlier today that Wednesday, along with fellow League One promotion-winners Plymouth Argyle and Ipswich Town are all showing an interest in Ogbene ahead of the summer transfer window, with other Championship sides having been linked too – most notably Swansea City who are long-term suitors of Ogbene.
But the Owls look like potential front runners in the race to sign Ogbene on a free transfer this summer, and here’s why…
Sheffield Wednesday have developed a bit of a reputation for raiding South Yorkshire rivals Rotherham United. Last summer they poached both Michael Smith and Michael Ihiekwe from the Millers and both went on to play important roles last season, Smith especially who recorded 25 goal contributions in the league.
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After seeing how much both have progressed at Hillsborough, Ogbene may see Sheffield Wednesday as a good place to do some progressing of his own, and he might look towards either Smith or Ihiekwe for advice should Wednesday come calling.
And to state the obvious, Sheffield being so close to Rotherham would mean no major relocating for Ogbene, which might be something he favours in his next move.
Swansea City uncertainty
Swansea City have wanted Ogbene for a long time. They wanted him last season, last summer, and in January too, and going into this summer they’ve been labelled as the original front runners for his signature.
But that was under the guidance of Russell Martin. He’s in the process of becoming Southampton’s new boss and so that could change Swansea’s viewpoint on Ogbene, and indeed Ogbene’s view on joining the club.
And Martin’s move to St Mary’s is hitting a lot of snags. It’s dragging on, leaving a thick air of uncertainty at the Welsh club who look set to undergo some wholesale changes off the pitch this summer, so their summer transfer business looks set to take a backseat.
Again, that only plays into Wednesday’s hands when it comes to signing Ogbene. He’d be a huge signing for the club if they can pull it off, and right now, it looks like a very realistic and very probable signing for them.