Each summer, a host of armchair managers eagerly await the opportunity to criticise their clubs transfer dealings. However, as second tier sides continue to learn from the error of their ways, ever so often us fans are treated to spectacular signings.
This blog pays homage to those smart additions this summer, detailing my top 5 picks for second tier signings this off-season.
Troy Deeney (Birmingham City)
Starting with a man who’s already inked with his new club’s crest, while Deeney doesn’t offer trendy, long-term value, he presents a bargain for the next season or two.
Once becoming unwanted at the Hornets, Deeney took the sting out of any transfer chase by solely offering to take a pay cut for one club. Hence, he’s home with Birmingham and ready to become a valued contributor for the next couple of seasons. Once one of the second tier’s most prolific scorers, 7 goals in limited game time last season shows he’s still got that potency in the penalty area.
A die-hard Brum with the accent to boot, the addition of Deeney is a throwback in terms of the profile club’s look for nowadays, but he’s a bargain nevertheless.
Jamal Lowe (AFC Bournemouth)
A fourth club in four years doesn’t bode well for the longevity of Lowe’s spell in the South, but a double-digit goal scorer is valued at this level regardless.
Last season, in a defensively solid but ultimately lethargic Swans side, Lowe scored an impressive 14 goals as the Robin to Ayew’s Batman. Now backed by Brooks and the Cherries’ plethora of creative midfielders, and it’s not tough to envisage him surpassing last season’s goal tally.
A cheap replacement for the outgoing Surridge, the only real question is whether Lowe can make the step up to the Cherries’ inevitable Premier League aspirations.
Harry Wilson (Fulham)
Unpopular opinion: Fulham did no wrong in their delayed payment involved in the Wilson aspiration, seeing as Liverpool agreed to it.
Regardless of the controversy involved in the addition, Wilson is a Premier League player seemingly stuck in the Championship. Fulham’s form to start the season suggests his spell in the second tier is soon to end. With three goal contributions in his first three games, he’s started as he means to go on and Fulham should be feared as a consequence.
Hopefully Harry finally gets a prolonged chance as Premier League football, and he could be on route to a Buendia like season.
Ben Wilmot (Stoke City)
It’s not often you replace a £15 million player, with a player at the tenth of the price and see a seamless transition. However, that’s just what the Potters have done.
Once Nathan Collins was shipped to Burnley, the almost immediate acquisition of England Under 21 international Wilmot mitigated fears of losing a generational talent. So far, so good for Stoke as Wilmot has been pivotal to the club’s impressive start to the season. A ball playing defender that’s fit is like a glove within O’Neill’s preferred three at the back formation.
Although Watford’s promotion may have been premature for Wilmot, hopefully it won’t be long before we see him grace the top flight in red & white.
Alex Mowatt (West Brom)
Imagine starting your summer with the acquisition of the captain of a playoff side, who got double digit goal contributions from centre midfield, all for free. Well, that’s exactly what the Baggies did.
Once Ismael swapped Yorkshire for the Midlands, it was almost inevitable that he’d be joined by his captain for the Tykes. One of the breakout stars of the previous campaign, free agent Mowatt was one of the league’s most sought after stars. So far this season, he’s gone on to justify the league wide interest he received, not looking out of place in a West Brom side star studded with second tier talent.
Hence, Mowatt looks set for Premier League football in the future, and if the Baggies can continue to add cost-effective talent like the former Tykes captain, they’ll be back in the top flight too.
There you have it, my top 5 Championship signings this summer. As club’s continue to get smarter, it was tough to choose just 5 additions. Is Deeney too short term to be considered a top signing? Or is Wilson too obvious as the league’s most expensive purchase?
Let me know what you think in the comments below or tweet us @FanHub