Three players Paul Cook could target if he lands Owls job, including £1m Leeds ace

The search for Sheffield Wednesday’s next permanent boss rumbles on but one prospective manager who seemingly has the backing from supporters is Paul Cook.

The former Wigan Athletic boss is currently without a job after leaving the Latics in the summer.

Cook recently told Talksport’s EFL show how he applied for the Wednesday job first time around when Garry Monk was dismissed but missed out to Tony Pulis.

Now the Hillsborough post is vacant again, Cook admits he would love the chance to get the job though he has yet to hear back after holding initial talks with the club.

Here, we look at three players Cook could target should he become Owls boss:

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Christian Walton:

Wednesday reportedly showed an interest in Walton prior to January (Football Insider).

The latest from The Sun (17/01/2021, page 59) claimed the Brighton and Hove Albion goalkeeper is available for loan after dropping down the pecking order at the Amex Stadium.

Cook knows all about Walton with the shot-stopper having two seasons on loan at Wigan before spending the 2019/20 campaign at fellow Lancashire side Blackburn Rovers.

Walton’s contract at Brighton expires in 2021. He could be an ideal option for the Owls with Irish shot-stopper Keiren Westwood’s contract at Hillsborough up at the end of the season.

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Joe Gelhardt:

Gelhardt has enormous potential having come through the ranks at Wigan. The 18-year-old is from Liverpool, and has been compared to England’s all-time top scorer Wayne Rooney.

Cook handed him his Championship debut in 2018/19. He went on to make 18 league appearances for the Latics last season, with the majority of those coming off the bench.

Wigan’s relegation to League One prompted a scramble for his signature, and it was Leeds United who won the race as they signed him for a reported bargain £1 million.

The 18-year-old attacker has since featured for Leeds youth team. But a loan to the Championship could be an option, and Cook will know all about his ability.

The Owls still lack creativity and will surely look at add another attacker or two this month.

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Joe Pigott:

Cook enjoyed plenty of success at Wigan utilising a strong target man up top.

Kieffer Moore brilliantly led the line for the Latics last season. However, he has since signed for Cardiff City with fellow forward Jamal Lowe joining Welsh rivals Swansea City.

Wednesday have lacked a target man following Steven Fletcher’s exit last summer.

The Owls must look to fill that void this month, and one player who could be available for a potentially bargain fee is AFC Wimbledon top scorer Joe Pigott whose contract expires this summer.

The 27-year-old has posted ten goals and four assists in 20 starts in League One this term. The Owls showed an interest in him in 2019 which we mentioned during Tony Pulis’s spell in charge.

Also see: West Ham winger wanted by Owls in 2020 reportedly set for loan move

Also see: ‘Overwhelmed’: Prospective new Owls boss has message for Wednesday fans as he eyes job

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