Alan Irvine has a very important decision to make. (©PAphotos)
by Chris Morris
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As was widely expected, Lee Grant’s Sheffield Wednesday career came to an end on Tuesday as he completed a switch to Championship side Burnley.
There were hopes that Grant would remain at the club and help their push for promotion at the first attempt but Wednesday’s well documented financial problems seem to have left them with little option but to sell the player in order to balance the books.
There can be little doubt that the 27-year-old stopper would have been one of the best goalkeepers in League One had the Owls managed to keep hold of him, as it is he is still likely to flourish in the Championship as he has done in the past.
The question now for Alan Irvine and Sheffield Wednesday is do they stick with what they have got or is there scope to bring in another keeper ahead of a very important season for the club.
Following the departure of Grant, Wednesday have two young and very inexperienced keepers remaining on their books in Richard O’Donnell and Arron Jameson.
O’Donnell has just four league appearances under his belt, gained on loan at Oldham in 2008 whilst Jameson doesn’t have any.
Both youngsters are thought to be highly regarded by the club and at just 21 and 20 years old respectively they are set to have long careers in the sport.
Throwing either of them into a team that is expected to mount a serious challenge to lift the League One title could make or break them at this early stage in their development but another option could be to bring someone else in.
Whilst it is unlikely that the club have any money to spend on a transfer the fee received for Grant is expected to more than cover the outstanding amount owed to HMRC and therefore could leave enough money to pay the wages of a free transfer signing or possibly a loan.
Rumours, though as yet thought to be unfounded, have linked the Owls with Everton stopper Iain Turner. The Scot spent a very successful spell on loan at Hillsborough in 2007 and Alan Irvine will be well aware of his capabilities from his time at Goodison Park.
He has struggled with injuries in recent seasons but may be available as Everton acquired the services of Slovakian international Jan Mucha in July in addition to their established number one, American Tim Howard.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.