Sheffield Wednesday must pass from Joost van Aken
Posted On March 30, 2021
Sheffield Wednesday have nine games remaining in their quest to survive in the Championship.
The Owls have to build on their victory before the international break if they are even to stand a chance, as they remain six points adrift but hold a game in hand for the side occupying that precious 21st place.
Despite the uncertainty over the Yorkshire club’s division next season, several decisions have to be made before the current campaign ends as several players are in breach of contracts.
Having been in charge for a month now, you imagine Owls boss Darren Moore has a pretty good idea of who he wants to keep and who he doesn’t.
In that last list should almost certainly be defensive flop Joost van Aken, who seems like a wanted man anyway.
Should we offer van Aken a new offer?
According to The Star, the Dutchman is attracting interest from the Netherlands, 2. Bundesliga, Turkey and Belgium, although no specific club have been named. He is able to sign a pre-contract deal with one of the unnamed sides given they play outside of England meaning he could already know where his future lies.
The 26-year-old is also believed to be keeping his options open, meaning a stay at Hillsborough isn’t out of the realm of possibilities either.
However, it’s probably wise for Moore and Owls chairman Dejphon Chansiri to say goodbye to him no matter how their immediate future unfolds.
Van Aken is yet to feature for the club in 2021, and that is largely the story of his career on Wednesday. It’s easy to forget that he signed with SC Heerenveen for a total of £ 4.5million in the summer of 2017.
In the four seasons that followed, the £ 900,000 ace only made a total of 33 appearances for the Yorkshire outfit and was even loaned out to 2. Bundesliga side VfL Osnabruck.
At this current rate, he’s managed eight appearances per season at Hillsborough, and that’s just not enough.
What makes matters even worse is the fact that he is among the highest earners for the Owls with a whopping £ 20k per week, according to Salary Sport – no wonder he wants to stay at the club.
Only Keiren Westwood, Jordan Rhodes, Barry Bannan, Adam Reach and Tom Lees win more, and they’re all first-team starters – regulars when they’re in good shape, too. Van Aken is not, so the club are clearly sending him a lot of money.
Excluding his one-season loan from Germany, the Owls have spent around £ 7.25million – and that matters. That’s around £ 220,000 per appearance, and it has to be said that it just wasn’t worth it.
Lingering injury issues aside, van Aken has been among the Owls’ worst performances this season, scoring 6.52 according to WhoScored. In comparison, Moses Odubajo (6.54), Sam Hutchinson (6.66) and Massimo Luongo (6.65) all did better despite their own doubts.
Moore is due to leave the Dutch flop this summer.
AND in other news, Moore could solve a season-long owl problem by releasing this academy gem …