We’ve multiple players in multiple positions who are in the last year of their contract at the club, and as this presents the perfect opportunity for us to refresh and reinvigorate the squad, allowing Garry Monk to begin shaping it in the way he wants, I thought I’d give my take on things — starting with the goalkeepers.
Dawson, 24, has already found himself linked with other clubs in the Championship. He began the campaign as understudy to Keiren Westwood, and I believe if he were to remain second choice or even third, he would seek pastures new. Dawson’s a highly rated keeper. At twenty-four, he’s still young enough to improve and reach his potential, but he needs to be playing week in week out.
Dawson has started our last two games and hasn’t put a foot wrong, so I’d imagine he will continue in goal for the foreseeable future. So, this is his chance to make himself our number one. If he continues to play and he performs well, there’s no reason why he can’t achieve this. If he does, I’d imagine there will be a contract forthcoming, but Dawson will likely want to know if he’s to continue as the number one keeper.
I’d like to see Dawson stay at Sheffield Wednesday, and would try and make it happen. However, I wouldn’t blame him for moving on if he doesn’t get the assurances on playing time and there being an opportunity to be the club’s number one.
Jones, 33, was signed as Wednesday’s third-choice keeper when Joe Wildsmith picked up an injury and will be fourth choice when Wildsmith is fully fit. I think you need three goalies at a club, and next season we could have lost Westwood, Dawson, or even both. If we retained Dawson and Westwood and Wildsmith stayed at the club, ideally, either Dawson or Wildsmith will be the number one, with the other loaned out to get regular games.
Therefore, while Jones is thirty-three and likely not to play, he may be worth keeping on at the club to be the third-choice goalie. It’s likely he does not cost us much where wages are concerned, so that’s a plus, and he’s not going to be disruptive or bring morale down because he’s not playing.
In my opinion, Dawson’s future needs resolving. Both he and Wildsmith need to be playing regularly. Otherwise, they’ll never reach their full potential. Westwood is thirty-five now, and even though he has a deal which runs until 2021, I can see the club looking to move him on in the summer. It will be a big wage off, and an opportunity for Dawson and Wildsmith to take.