Aston Villa became the Championship’s third and final promoted club at Wembley on Monday – joining Sheffield United and Norwich City in next season’s Premier League.
But the trio’s ascent may be bittersweet for some of their players, as the clubs create space for higher-calibre replacements.
And in the cases of United and Norwich retained lists have already been published, while Villa’s is expected imminently.
But which of those discarded (or soon-to-be-discarded) players would make useful additions for Sheffield Wednesday?
We’ve picked out one from each below…
Aston Villa – Albert Adomah
Steve Bruce has said he’ll target younger players in his first full window as Wednesday boss. But with over-30s such as Daniel Pudil, David Jones, Almen Abdi, George Boyd and Gary Hooper quickly released at the end of the campaign, the Owls’ average age has already come down. And given that at least two new wingers are likely to be sought, there may be some leeway in Adomah’s position.
Though 32 this year, Adomah has played regularly for Villa these past three seasons, in which time he has scored or made 38 goals. At the right price – his contract expires this summer, although Villa do have a year’s option in their favour – a short-term deal is surely worth investigating.
That being said, the Ghanaian may need to overlook his differences with Bruce, who failed to offer him a new contract on age grounds while still in charge at Villa Park. That is, incidentally, what inspired Adomah’s ‘old man’ celebration at Hillsborough in March.
Sheffield United – Paul Coutts
A key player throughout the first 18 months of United’s ascent under Chris Wilder, Coutts has only injury – and perhaps too the form of his successor, Oliver Norwood – to blame for his lack of games since then.
The Scot may be nearing 31 himself, but plays in a position in which Wednesday are thought to want to strengthen – central midfield – and is available for free after his contract wasn’t renewed. Like Adomah, he could be worth a short-term deal.
But the main problem is that two of the Owls’ existing options, Sam Hutchinson and Kieran Lee, have themselves spent much of the past two campaigns unavailable.
Norwich City – Yanic Wildschut
If a direct and pacy winger is what Wednesday are after then Wildschut may come into consideration.
By far the youngest of this bunch at just shy of 28, the Dutchman is available for free after Norwich released him.
He may not have had the best of times since his £7 million move there two-and-a-half years ago – finding himself farmed out to Cardiff City and Bolton Wanderers since then – but his ability is there to be found by an experienced boss such as Bruce.