The Football EFL Championship : Here’s one signing we think your club should get their hands on this summer (Part One A-L)

We’ve covered the Premier League (CHECK HERE), but what about the Championship? Here’s one signing we think your club should get their hands on this summer (Part 1).

Barnsley: Laurent Depoitre (Huddersfield Town) CF

Barnsley are the first in our list, and the first Championship new-boy to cover. After a stellar season in League One last time out, finishing second to Luton by just 3 points, you may see it as a surprise that I’m recommending a striker being added to their squad for the new season. Depoitre never really hit the heights in the Prem, and with Huddersfield being so poor last year, the recently released Belgian has to prove himself or see his career fade into the background. He’s a physical, aggressive centre forward who may thrive against lesser Championship defences, and with striker Kieffer Moore catching the attention of a few clubs, Depoitre may be the striker Barnsley need to help secure their status in England’s 2nd tier.

Birmingham City: John Marquis (Doncaster Rovers) ST

After selling top scorer Che Adams to Southampton this summer, Birmingham will need a proven goal-scorer coming into their squad by August, and 61 goals in 134 appearances for Doncaster might just turn the heads of the West Midlanders. Yes, Marquis was only plying his trade in League 1 last season, but 22 goals and 5 assists in his most recent campaign surely has to count for something? 

Blackburn Rovers: Pape Soure (Crystal Palace) LB

Having trawled through Blackburn Rovers Fans Forums the main area to strengthen, it seems, is in the Left Back position. Having seen Soure play for Palace on numerous occasions prior to his horrific car crash 2 years ago, there’s no doubt that the Senegalese international possessed genuine quality (especially going forward). Since then he’s fallen away from the Palace 1st team, with Patrick Van Aanholt and Jeffrey Schlupp both ahead of him in the pecking order, so a drop down to the Championship could be a great move for both parties involved.

Brentford: Neal Maupay (Brentford) ST

You could say I’m cheating with this one, but realistically can you think of a more influential player that the Bees could bring in this season? Maupay was a revelation last term, by far and away Brentford’s player of the season, and if they can secure his services for another season before any Premier League side swoops in, it’ll feel like a new signing in West London. 28 goals last year. 22 years of age. Do the maths.

Cardiff City: Ethan Ampadu (Chelsea) CB/CM

If Cardiff City are hoping to yoyo their way back to the Premier League in one season, they’re going to need to invest wisely in their squad this summer. With the departures of Victor Camarasa, Aaron Gunnarson, and Harry Arter confirmed already, City’s midfield could be looking precariously thin if nothing’s done in the next month or so. Ampadu is clearly an exciting prospect in West London, and with the arrival of a Frank Lampard who’s looking to develop and trust his younger players, prising away one of their assets could be difficult for the Welsh club. However, the young Welsh international may be better suited developing his game in the 2nd tier for a season before looking to push his way into a Top 6 first team. 12-month loan deal? Bluebirds fans will be hoping so.

Charlton Athletic: Joe Pigott (AFC Wimbledon) ST

Charlton’s head of recruitment has been quoted recently of wanting young and hungry players to come into the squad for their upcoming return to the 2nd flight, and with the sale of four attacking players this summer, I feel a versatile striker could be where they should focus their attentions. Pigott was directly involved in 18 of Wimbledon’s goals last season, and at 6ft2 he’s also a very physical presence going forward. Charlton will need to be aggressive to stay in the league this season, and with Wimbledon only just surviving the drop, Pigott might look to the promoted club as an opportunity to prove himself on a bigger stage, albeit in a potentially similar fight against the drop.

Derby County: Teun Koopmeiners (AZ Alkmaar) CM/CDM/CB

20 years old. Dutch. £12.7 million release clause. Versatile. Maybe. With the arrival of Phillip Cocu I wouldn’t be surprised to see an influx of young Dutch talent into the Derby County squad in the coming month or so. Koopmeiners is by no means the finished article, but with Cocu’s experience of managing in a league that typically looks to promoting youth from within club academy structures, a young talent like this could be a shrewd signing despite the large fee. 9 goals in 58 appearances from the age of 18 is also a decent return for a defensively minded player.

Fulham: Jonson Clarke-Harris (Bristol Rovers) ST

Fulham f*cked it last season, there’s no other way of putting it. Over £100m spent in the summer of 2018 secured them a 19th place finish in the top flight, and saw them crash back through the trap door. This season they MUST learn from their mistakes. It’s all well and good spuzzing their parachute payments on expensive lumps like Jean Michael Seri (£25million for an attacking midfielder who scored just once all season), but if they’re going to have another crack at promotion they need to be wise in their spending this summer. With Aleksander Mitrovic almost certainly on his way to pastures new, a physical centre forward who’s hungry for first team football is a must. Clarke-Harris had a strange season, plying his trade for both Coventry and Bristol Rovers last time out, but a total of 16 goals throughout the season, 11 of which came in just 16 appearances for Rovers has surely got to be enough to bag him a move up a division.

Huddersfield Town: Lucas Akins (Burton Albion) ST/RW/RWB/LW/LWB

I loved having The Terriers in the Premier League these past two years, but unfortunately all good things do (and did) come to an end. With the quality of their squad I can’t see an immediate return on the horizon, so stability is therefore key for the West Yorkshire club next season. Lucas Akins is versatile, attack-minded, but with the defensive capabilities that enable him to drop into pretty much any position on the pitch and look unfazed. A goal threat who can tackle, 13 goals and 9 assists last season, and he’ll probably save you a couple as well. Someone’s gonna sign him, so why not Huddersfield?

Hull City: Jarrod Bowen (Hull City) FW

I’m cheating again but sod it. Norwich and Southampton are currently the vultures circling Hull City’s star man, but if the Tigers can hold onto him for a while longer fans might hope for a decent start to the new season. 13th last time out was an average season for City, and I genuinely hope Bowen does decide to stick around ‘til at least the January window. Hull will benefit no end, but it’ll be interesting to see if Bowen suffers from ‘second season syndrome’. 

Leeds United: Paulo Gazzaniga (Tottenham Hotspur)/Karl Darlow (Newcastle United) GK

Leeds did a Leeds again. We all thought it couldn’t happen again, but all knew it would. So how on Earth do Leeds get promoted back to the big time? They’ve got goal-scorers, playmakers, pacey wingers, and man-mountains at the heart of defence. But do they have a keeper who is truly of the quality that a team pushing for the top 2? I don’t think so. Bailey Peacock-Farrell had a decent start to the season, but individual errors and the arrival of Kiko Casilla Real Madrid in the January window saw the young Englishman drop to second choice. Casilla was meant to represent the stability between the sticks that would see Leeds push for the title, to finally achieve their potential… and then they got thumped at home by Derby in the Play-Offs. Leeds need a reliable keeper, end of! Both Gazzaniga and Darlow are second choice at their respective clubs, but have shown real signs of quality in the past. If they no longer want to play second fiddle, a drop down a division could reignite both of their careers, and would present Leeds with both a quality keeper and a good reason to get Casilla’s wages off their books.