With 10 games to go in the current Championship season, we’ve seen a plethora of signings seamlessly settle into the second tier this year.
In such a fiercely competitive division, improving your squad each season is vital to your chances of escaping the division. Whether it’s a proven Championship journeyman joining a side on his next one-year contract, or an exciting, foreign import trying to reach the Premier League, there is no correct formula to getting a transfer right and that’s what makes it all the more exciting.
Despite there being no clear recipe for success, these five teams have hit home runs on these additions and the Championship is all the better for it. So, here are my Top 5 Championship Signings This Season.
Michał Helik (Barnsley)
Mads and Michal’s monstrous performances at the back have been integral to Barnsley’s purple patch play recently, and hence Helik makes this list.
Helik leads the league’s centre backs in tackles and interceptions, while he’s third for clearances. A defensive stalwart, Barnsley can find themselves guilty of daylight robbery for getting Helik for just £720k. Barnsley’s playoff push has largely been based off a solid defence and direct football, and the stats back up how integral Helik is to this brand of football implemented by Ismail. With this rich vein of form, the Tykes will continue to punch above their weight, and in Michal alongside Mads, they potentially have a Premier League ready backline.
For value for money, Helik is arguably atop the list of Championship signings, and is therefore the first name on this list.
Gustavo Hamer (Coventry City)
Like Barnsley, the Sky Blues implement an ambitious, European based recruitment strategy and are similarly reaping the rewards with Hamer.
Hamer is a creative playmaker that leads the league in key passes at just 23. At just £1.35m from PEC Zwolle, Hamer’s a home run in terms of value and quality. He is much more than a creator too, as an intelligent interceptor he is the perfect player to start the counter attack. At just 23 too, the Premier League could be the next step for Hamer as he continues to star in the second tier.
Coventry returns to the Ricoh Arena this summer, and I’m sure the Sky Blues faithful will be filling the stands to finally see their new star man in action before he’s poached by the Premier League.
Kieffer Moore (Cardiff City)
As Wigan fell into a financial abyss, a plethora of second tier sides sought after target man Moore from the Latics.
The Welshman went to his home country’s capital, and he’s soared with the Bluebirds. Moore fitted seamlessly with Harris’ direct style of play, picking up from where he left off from Wigan’s impressive form at the back end of last season. His dominant physicality made him fit like a glove with Harris’ direct style of play, hence starring for a struggling Cardiff side under the boss that signed him. Now led by McCarthy, Moore is being matched by his teammates as they push for the playoffs with their resurgent form.
Now a hero for Welsh football on the club and international stage, he’s been worth much Moore than the £2 million Cardiff paid for him.
Ben Gibson (Norwich City)
Much like Moore, Ben’s been a bargain and while leading from back, with new side has become one of the strongest second tier sides in recent memory.
Replacing the homegrown Godfrey, who returned to the Premier League with the Toffees, is a tough task given his quality. However, Gibson has arguably surpassed Godfrey’s immediate value to Norwich, becoming one of the league’s finest centre backs. Exiled from the Burnley squad in a disastrous move for Gibson, he’s adjusted well to the stark contrast in system that his former employers played in comparison Farke’s football.
Defending in a dominant side like Norwich’s can often be underrated, with their free-flowing style often leaving Gibson exposed, but he has excelled and is Premier League bound as a result.
Ivan Toney (Brentford)
At this point, it’s almost inevitable that Brentford will feature on a list compiling the best signings, and the 2020/21 season is no different.
With a fanbase that has seen the likes of Watkins and Benrahma buzz for the bees, Toney boasts the best individual season of them all. We are witnessing history right now, with records being broken weekly by Toney’s red-hot form, with 35 goal contributions already with 10 games to go. £6 million for a League One striker could’ve raised eyebrows, but Premier League suitors may struggle to acquire the Toon Academy product for anything less than five times that fee. He’s the sort of star you’d run out of superlatives for, and I’m all here for it.
If Brentford aren’t promoted this summer, I’m looking forward to including Toney’s replacement on this list next season, as I guarantee he won’t be playing Championship football next season.
There you have it, my ‘Top 5 Championship Signings This Season’. Who would you choose? Does the Swans signing Lowe deserve inclusion? Or should Oliver Skipp onto this list even if he’s only a temporary addition? In one of the most competitive leagues in the world, it’s no coincidence that there’s so many shrewd signings in most sides.
Let me know what you think in the comments below or tweet us @FanHub_Football!