There could be a sense of what-might-have-been for some of the players involved at Hillsborough on Saturday, as Sheffield Wednesday host Wigan Athletic.
Wednesday were linked with a pair of Wigan men in the summer transfer window, while the Latics were credited with an interest in one of the Owls’.
But who are they and how are they getting on?
We take a look, below…
A target for the former Sheffield Wednesday manager, Steve Bruce, according to Football League World, it is perhaps little surprise that a move for Dunkley failed to materialise. Wednesday were also pursuing a permanent deal for Michael Hector, which also came to nothing, and eventually turned to David Bates – who we will address later on – in the centre-back’s position. Dunkley has played in all-but-one of Wigan’s league games so far (nine) and has scored an impressive three goals. He has, however, conceded 12 at the opposite end and possesses a slightly lower average rating (7.00) than the Owls’ first-choice pairing of Tom Lees (7.01) and Julian Börner (7.02) on the statistical website, Who Scored. With Dominic Iorfa having performed well in Lees’ recent absence, Wednesday are in good enough shape without the Wigan man.
Another one Bruce is said to have had his eye on, according to Sky Sports, but with a recently-signed new deal taking him through to June 2021 at Wigan, a move for Morsy always looked to be out of the Owls’ reach regardless of whether or not their former boss remained. The Egyptian’s central midfield position was one in which Wednesday were desperate to strengthen and did so, ultimately, through the signing of Massimo Luongo. Luongo has had to bide his time at Hillsborough, with Sam Hutchinson, Barry Bannan and Kieran Lee often favoured, although he is expected to replace the suspended Hutchinson on Saturday. Morsy’s Who Scored average rating is just 6.57, considerably lower than those of Hutchinson (6.87) and Bannan (7.09), and he has, unlike the Owls pair, yet to score or assist a single goal this season, which suggests that he too would have struggled to get in. Luongo’s is only 6.35, although he has yet to start a Championship game this campaign.
A deadline day arrival at Sheffield Wednesday, Bates was actually heading to Wigan before the Owls made contact, according to The Scottish Sun. But a combination of injury and the form of those ahead of him has ensured that the Scotland international is still awaiting his league debut for Wednesday. Would he have fared any better at Wigan? Probably. Charlie Mulgrew – a rumoured Owls target of yesteryear – arrived after Bates’ move and has been an ever-present alongside Dunkley since then.