Sheffield Wednesday boss hints new signing could make debut

Sheffield Wednesday

Sheffield Wednesday manager Stuart Gray has suggested that Claude Dielna could be in line to start against Watford.

Sheffield Wednesday boss Stuart Gray has hinted that summer signing Claude Dielna could be in line for a first start against Watford at the weekend.

Dielna came on for his Wednesday debut in the penultimate game before the international break and he did a credible job.

The French defender was plunged into the deep end, as he came on in the first half to replace Kamil Zayatte against Ipswich Town, but he coped well and Gray has clearly seen enough in him to give him his first start.

“It takes time for a foreign player to settle into a new country. There is a settling in period," Gray said to the Sheffield Telegraph.

“Claude’s fitness levels were probably not up to speed when he first arrived. He’s done lots of training over the last few weeks and now he needs game time.”

Dielna arrived at Hillsborough with a certain amount of pedigree, given he was playing for Champions League Olympiacos in the previous season.

It means that he should have the experience to cope with starting in the Championship, even if it can take players some time to adapt to the hustle and bustle of England's second-tier.

If he does slot in, he will replace the injured Zayatte and he will have some void to cover.

Zayatte has established himself as a commanding figure in the Wednesday back-line, but Gray insists that Owls will be going for the win even without their first-choice centre-back at the weekend.

“I try not to pick a team to get beat; I pick a team to win a game," he said. 

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