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Sheffield Wednesday should turn attention to Wigan player if they lose race for free agent: Opinion

The race for Will Vaulks is hotting up, with a host of Championship sides linked with the midfielder over the weekend. 

The Sheffield Star reported on Sunday that Huddersfield Town, Luton Town, QPR, and Stoke City have joined Sheffield Wednesday in pursuit of Vaulks, who was recently released by Cardiff City.

Darren Moore is keen to strengthen in midfield areas but the Owls may find it hard to compete with Championship clubs offering the 28-year-old a route back to the second tier.

Reports have suggested that the departing Bluebird would consider a move to Hillsborough due to the size and history of the Yorkshire club but they need to be assessing alternatives.

Missing out on Vaulks would not be ideal but there are other options out there and Wigan Athletic’s Graeme Shinnie is a player that they could target.

Things have not worked out for the Scot since he swapped Pride Park for the DW Stadium in January and it would be no surprise to see the Latics look to offload him.

The central midfielder played less than 550 League One minutes for Wigan last term and made just one appearance in their last nine games – highlighting where he appears to sit in the pecking order under Leam Richardson.

Shinnie’s lack of impact under Richardson should not be of great concern to Wednesday, however, and you only have to look at the trust placed in him by Wayne Rooney in the 18 months before his Derby County exit to see what he could offer Moore.

The hard-working and tenacious midfielder won the Rams’ Player of the Season award in 2021/22 and was a mainstay in the starting XI up until his January exit.

He is a Championship quality player that could help marshall the centre of the park and allow Barry Bannan more freedom to pull the strings further forward.

Quiz: Are these 20 Sheffield Wednesday transfer facts true or false?



Sheffield Wednesday signed Barry Bannan in 2015


Shinnie is a leader as well, having worn the captain’s armband at both Derby and Aberdeen, and appears the sort of character you’d want in a promotion push.

Wednesday should have the finances to afford his wages while you feel there is a cut-price deal to be struck with the Latics, who will want to get him off their books.

Vaulks still looks a fantastic addition but if the in-demand midfielder opts to go elsewhere, Shinnie would be an alternative worth pursuing.

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