PETER WHITE assesses Sheffield Wednesday, who entertain Blackburn tomorrow

SHEFFIELD Wednesday fans could be about to experience a culture shock - but manager David Pleat believes they will enjoy every minute of it.

For years, Owls followers worshipped the man in their number eight shirt, a certain Chris Waddle, who worked in a sausage factory before turning pro and spoke that unique version of English called "Geordie".

For Waddle, now read Benito Carbone, reared on spaghetti rather than sausages, and speaking no English at all!

But, handing his new star midfielder Carbone that coveted Wednesday shirt, Pleat said: "He'll be exciting the fans here for years to come."

Just like Waddle used to do perhaps.

Comparisons between the two, however, are meaningless in some respects - different build, different background, simply the same aspirations to succeed.

While former Wednesday idol Waddle is in the twilight of his career, Carbone believes his could be just about to take off after being cold shouldered at the San Siro, ironically by an Englishman, Internazionale's Roy Hodgson. The former Italian under-21 international has a lot of expectations to live up to, not least the fact that, at £3 million, he represents Wednesday's record buy in the transfer market.

Providing the international clearance regulations have been satisfactorily concluded, he will make his bow against Blackburn Rovers at Hillsborough tomorrow, probably on the right-hand side of midfield.

And he can't wait to get started.

"It will be fascinating to play in the English game," he said via an interpreter. "It is getting better and better, more close to the Italian game and I am confident I can play well here.

"I think my best position is on the right side of midfield but, really, I just want to play. It doesn't matter where.

"The people at Sheffield Wednesday are very nice and I am impressed by the club. The ground is perfect and I am looking forward to playing in the Premiership. "For me, the most important thing and the biggest problem is learning the language."

Carbone's move from Milan, clinched earlier this week, came about after he had been frozen out of the Inter team by a three-man midfield of Paul Ince, Aaron Winter and Ciriaco Sfroza.

Pleat has long been seeking a right-sided midfield player, having a £3.8 million bid for QPR's Trevor Sinclair turned down and failing to agree personal terms with Juventus star Attilio Lombardo after the clubs had set up a £3.7 million deal.

Carbone is small and only slightly built, but Pleat believes he can prosper in the Premiership in a big way.

"Benny is an effervescent personality with a silky touch and sharpness," said Pleat. "He's very sharp over short distances, is a terrific, intelligent player who has been a regular for the Inter Milan team for two seasons, playing at the highest level against best defenders.

"We are looking forward to seeing him teasing defenders and exciting the crowd.

"There will be great pressure on him but I am sure he will be able to take all that in his stride."

Pleat has no qualms about throwing his new capture in at the deep end tomorrow and that could be another headache for a Rovers side desperate to claim their first Premiership victory of the season.

Wednesday have been looking for a pick-me-up after suffering four defeats in their last five League games and Carbone's debut - subject to final clearance - could lift the whole club.

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