If Sheffield Wednesday are allowed to strengthen in January, then a new centre forward will be among their likely targets.
Of the Owls’ existing options, only Steven Fletcher (eight) has scored more than three goals this season, across all competitions.
And that Sam Winnall and Jordan Rhodes have played fewer than 450 minutes between them perhaps tells you all you need to know about where the pair sit in Garry Monk’s plans.
Should offers arrive for either player in January – and the queue is unlikely to be a long one – then Wednesday would almost certainly entertain them, especially with Winnall’s deal expiring at the end of the season and Rhodes thought to be among the club’s highest earners.
The Owls’ ability to enter the market – even if it’s just the loan one – may depend on shipping out at least one of those. But if Monk is given the green light – from both his chairman, Dejphon Chansiri, and the English Football League – there’s a potentially available Premier League striker who may be worth pursuing.
According to The Telegraph, that man, Connor Wickham, will be allowed to leave Crystal Palace on a temporary basis this winter.
Wickham – who’ll need no introduction to the Sheffield Wednesday faithful having starred for the Owls in separate loan spells earlier in his career – has endured a difficult few years, catalysed by the serious knee injury he suffered in November 2016.
But that the likes of Watford and Nottingham Forest are reportedly keen on the 26-year-old is perhaps reason for encouragement regarding his fitness – although it could be argued that, even with a bit of ring rust, he would struggle to contribute as little as Winnall and Rhodes have done.
With Monk having so far flitted between four-three-three and four-four-two depending on the opposition, it makes sense to pursue someone who can play both in insolation and in tandem with Fletcher or Atdhe Nuhiu. Wickham – as we well know – ticks both boxes.
And given his affiliation with Wednesday – not only as an ex-player but the partner, SWN understands, of a lifelong Owls fan – the Hillsborough powers-that-be may stand more than a fighting chance of procuring the £10 million Crystal Palace recruit.
Wickham’s last spell in blue and white – which, granted, ended as long ago as six years now – yielded eight goals and three assists from 11 appearances.
Without those contributions, Wednesday would have been 10 points worse off – the difference between finishing in 16th place and 22nd.
And who knows where that sort of impact would leave the Owls – who are two points off the play-offs – this time around.