Opinion: Sheff Wed could start £360k striker against Middlesbrough, Monk may drop £1.71m man

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Sheffield Wednesday welcome Middlesbrough to Hillsborough on Wednesday evening – their final game of the 2019/20 season. Garry Monk is likely to ring the changes after the Owls lost 5-3 to Fulham on Saturday and one decision he could make is to replace one of his strikers – Alessio Da Cruz for Atdhe Nuhiu.

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Da Cruz underperformed in the Fulham defeat and was substituted at half-time, so the £1.71m-rated player could make way for the 30-year-old in midweek. Nuhiu came off the bench on Saturday and bagged two goals, so he should be given one last outing in a Wednesday shirt before potentially leaving.

Nuhiu has made 40/50 appearances in all competitions this season, scoring seven goals with four assists. The £360k-rated striker has amassed only 1584/4500 minutes of playing time, however, as Monk has preferred Steven Fletcher and Connor Wickham.

This could be Nuhiu’s last appearance for the Owls, as he’s out of contract in a matter of weeks. The Kosovan has been unable to nail down a starting place and only started hitting form when football returned in England – three goals in July.

Nuhiu has scored 50 goals in 276 games since his 2013-move from Rapid Vienna, so he may be deemed expendable as Wednesday begin their rebuild.

Regardless, Da Cruz hasn’t found the back of the net since joining on loan, so Monk would be wise to rest him this week.

Read Crippy Cooke’s previous article

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Sports journalist who is an avid football fan, enjoys debunking transfer rumours, loves to write pieces about players out in the cold and takes a large amount of pride getting a predicted XI 100% correct.