As fast as the transfer merry go round has been spinning in the Premier League, the Championship has also seen more than its fair share of activity – here, FantasySports.co.uk take a look at the main winners and losers of the summer so far :
HOT – ASTON VILLA
It should come as little surprise to know that Villa have been splashing the cash in a bid to get a second season return to the Premier League. Having deeper pockets than most, one of the biggest and most atmospheric grounds in England, and a rich history, Villa can attract a quality and quantity of player to add to their already impressive squad.
Premier League veterans John Terry (Chelsea), Glenn Whelan (Stoke) Ahmed Elmohamady (Hull) and ex Blackburn defender Christopher Samba have come in – and with no major outgoings, fans at Villa Park are expecting a triumphant season with nothing less than automatic promotion deemed a success under Steve Bruce.
NOT – HULL CITY
Hull City fans must be wondering what the strategy is at the KCom Stadium. No less than six players, many first team regulars, have departed – and a further Hull key player, Andrew Robertson, is currently undergoing a medical that will see him go to Liverpool – although midfielder Kevin Stewart is likely to come the other way. But having been relegated from the Premier League last season, Hull fans were hoping for a quick return. This mass exodus suggests they will more likely be fighting to preserve their Championship status, than re-joining the Premier League.
HOT – MIDDLESBROUGH
Boro were also relegated last season but, unlike Hull, have kept many of their Premier League squad, but added significant quality to it also, and have joined Villa atop the promotion betting markets.
Championship heavyweights Jonny Howson (Norwich City), Cyrus Christie (Derby County) and Britt Assombalonga (Nottingham Forest) have all arrived at the Riverside, along with Danish midfielder Martin Braithwaite from Toulouse. Boro have also joined the race to take Liverpool winger Sheyi Ojo. Many will be fancying Boro to make a quick return to the top flight – and maybe stay there for a while.
NOT – NORWICH CITY
Current count of player movement at Carrow Road is three in, ten out, and signs do not look good for the East Anglian team. Already disappointed by the failure of last season, a positive summer was hoped for, but it has not at all panned out that way, with names such as Bassong, Dorrans, Howson, Lafferty, Murphy and Ruddy all leaving for pastures new – and the few that have come in are not exactly names to roll off the tongue.
Another season of mid table obscurity beckons for the Canaries it seems.
HOT – CARDIFF CITY
Cardiff finished the 2016/17 season in a rich vein of form, and the summer has continued that momentum, with a further strong showing expected this season.
Although veteran Peter Whittingham and promising youngster Tom Adeyemi have left, five players have arrived at Cardiff, including striker Lee Tomlin from Bristol City, Callum Peterson from Hearts and Danny Ward from Rotherham United. Quality at Championship level, Cardiff could well be right in the play off mix come next May.
NOT – LEEDS UNITED
About the only thing that hasn’t changed at Elland Road this summer has been the name of the club and ground itself. A new ownership, new manager, and 14 changes in playing personnel (6 in, 8 out) cant be good for a team that ran out of steam last season after looking very good for the first six months.
Common sense says that it will take time for things to settle at Leeds – and by the time they do, the season may well have run its course for this sleeping giant of English football.