Why £33 million striker's comments bode well for Sheffield Wednesday

Michy Batshuayi

Chelsea's newest recruit spoke highly of Sheffield Wednesday's.

Michy BatshuayiNew Chelsea signing, Michy Batshuayi

It's not often you'll see a Sheffield Wednesday footballer compared to a £33 million European striking sensation. This is one of those occasions.

The Owls completed their first signing of the summer on Friday - and boy was it a biggie. While Steven Fletcher is not the aforementioned £33 million man, he did once cost Sunderland £12 million - the equivalent of Wednesday's club-record fee trebled.

The Scot's arrival at Hillsborough has posed many questions. Mainly: Why've we given four years to a 29-year-old? But also: Will he start? If so, will he play on his own? What happens to Gary Hooper?

Gary Hooper celebrates after scoring the second goal for Sheffield WednesdayGary Hooper scored 13 times for Sheffield Wednesday last season

The £3 million arrival from Norwich City scored 13 times last season - in a campaign which began in earnest three months late. However, he also had a tendency to go missing in games, mostly when played as a lone striker and as a result of a lack of chances created by his teammates.

By some, these factors were unfairly overlooked. But not Carlos Carvalhal, the Wednesday head coach.

Rather than look upgrade or even replace Hooper - a prospect which would have seemed preposterous 12 months ago - the Portuguese has seemingly sought to improve his fortunes.

"He is a player I really like," said Michy Batshuayi, Chelsea's £33 million recruit, of his former Marseille teammate, Steven Fletcher, as quoted by Unibet. "He helps me a lot - and the same for the team.

Former Marseille loanee Steven Fletcher in actionFormer Marseille loanee Steven Fletcher 'monopolises' Ligue 1 defenders

"It is easier on the pitch for me when he is there. When I play on my own, I attract all the defenders.

"When he is there, knowing that he is strong in challenges, especially in the air, he monopolises the other defenders."

Though not in the same bracket as Batshuayi, Hooper will benefit from Fletcher's presence in the areas his Belgian counterpart also did: He'll have more space, more flick-ons to feed off and, crucially, he'll score more goals.

While Fletcher might not - his career goals to games ratio is roughly one in four - his impact on Gary Hooper should be plain for all to see.

Sheffield Wednesday's Gary Hooper (L) celebrates with teammates after he scores his sides third goalMore of this to come?

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