Carvalhal names the Wednesday star who caught his eye immediately

Sheffield Wednesday

This player has been a regular for the Owls this season, but wasn't signed by the Portuguese coach.

Sheffield Wednesday may have finished 13th in last season's Championship, but the team still had its stars. Keiren Westwood was named in the PFA's divisional team of the year, for example, while Tom Lees was equally responsible for a club-record tally of league clean sheets (17).

However, for head coach Carlos Carvalhal, it was another who shone the brightest.

Upon taking the reins at Hillsborough last summer, Carvalhal spent countless hours scouring through footage from the previous campaign. And, speaking to BBC Radio Sheffield on Thursday, the Portuguese revealed there was one Owls player to whom he was drawn "immediately".

"Some players are more easy to discover, some players are more easy to discover to the coaches," Carvalhal explained to the BBC's Rob Staton.

"When I looked at the team last year, for example, and I looked at almost all the games of the team last season, immediately from the first game I put my eyes on Kieran Lee, because I'm a coach.

"I believe that if you get 30 games and ask the fans to choose the best player, nobody will choose Kieran Lee.

"The eyes of the coach is different to the eyes of the fans and of the critic, most of the time, not all the time, because some things are common."

Despite this, Lee actually began the campaign on the bench, but was recalled to the starting lineup against Leeds United in August and has appeared in every Championship game since.

While a host of glamorous new faces may have stolen the plaudits again this season, the 27-year-old's impact - five league goals and a regular seat on the bench for summer signing Lewis McGugan - continues to speak for itself.

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