Sheffield Wednesday have started their January recruitment plans early by signing Premier League winger Callum McManaman.
West Bromwich Albion splashed out £4.75m for the Wigan midfielder only two years ago, but the 25-year-old has been allowed to join the Owls on loan for the rest of the season.
McManaman, who has already passed a Hillsborough medical, will officially join the Owls when the transfer window reopens on January 1 and is eligible to face Wolverhampton next Monday.
He will provide competition for wingers Ross Wallace and record signing Adam Reach, with Will Buckley currently sidelined with a shoulder injury.
McManaman was Tony Pulis’s first signing when he joined the Baggies in January last year but the Merseysider has not featured in the current campaign.
He made his name with his first club Wigan, with whom he lifted the FA Cup in 2013.
The arrival of McManaman will bolster the Owls squad at the end of a testing month.
Since November 26, sixth-placed Wednesday have won five of their last six games – keeping four clean sheets – and finish 2016 at Preston North End on Saturday. The most impressive result came on Boxing Day, when they beat then Championship leaders Newcastle United.
Owls boss Carlos Carvalhal believes the result will be long remembered, and go down in Owls folklore alongside another famous Boxing Day encounter.
Wednesday fans still sing about the ‘Boxing Day Massacre’ of 1979 when they beat city rivals Sheffield United 4-0 at Hillsborough.
Nearly four decades later, it is a match of which Carvalhal – a keen historian of football – is all too aware.
“I hear a lot this week about the Wednesday team in the past that beat Sheffield United on Boxing Day and how everybody remembers those players,” he said. “I tell my players that you only get one chance to be remembered, in the end people don’t remember how much money you have, but they will remember when Sheffield Wednesday come to St James’ Park and win on Boxing Day.”