Ranked! The 10 best Championship signings of summer 2017

Gianni Alioski Leeds

From record-breaking international stars to bargain defenders, Sean Cole rates the 10 best summer buys by Championship clubs

10. Barrie McKay (Rangers to Nottingham Forest, £500k)

Barrie McKay

With the Rangers squad undergoing a significant overhaul following the appointment of Pedro Caixinha, his predecessor swooped in to sign someone who’d unexpectedly fallen out of favour. Mark Warburton was a big fan of McKay during his spell at Ibrox, making him a first-team regular en route to the Scottish Championship title in 2016. McKay was named in the PFA Team of the Year and earned his first cap for Scotland too.

For £500k, Nottingham Forest have acquired a wideman who’s technically assured, can glide past players and packs an excellent delivery. The 22-year-old also showcased good long-range ability when smashing the winner against Millwall on his debut.

9. Liam Lindsay (Partick Thistle to Barnsley, £350k)

Liam Lindsay

Barnsley were victims of their own success last season, forced into a rebuilding job as wealthier clubs picked off some of their best players. Fortunately, they have an impressive recent history of building a solid backline with unheralded stars who they can later sell on for profit, with Marc Roberts, John Stones and Alfie Mawson a few notable examples.

This strategy is Barnsley’s best chance of continuing to compete successfully at this level. Former Partick Thistle defender Liam Lindsay is in the same mould: a promising young centre-back who’s both strong in the challenge and comfortable on the ball. The 21-year-old Scot came in for his debut at the end of August and helped keep the club’s first clean sheet of the season in a 3-0 win over Sunderland.

8. Nathaniel Mendez-Laing (Rochdale to Cardiff, free)

Nathaniel Mendez-Laing

A free transfer from Rochdale, the 25-year-old already looks like one of the biggest bargains of the season after just a handful of games. The stocky winger has been a lively and productive presence out wide for his new club, scoring five times already in all competitions.

A tricky, talented player who likes to get defenders on the back foot, Mendez-Laing has seized his opportunity to step up to the Championship. He started Cardiff’s first game on the bench but soon became indispensable, notching twice in a 3-0 win over Aston Villa.

7. Kamohelo Mokotjo (Twente to Brentford, £880k)

Kamohelo Mokotjo

The Bees finally got their man after two years of trying. Their data-led search for value in Europe’s less-publicised leagues repeatedly turned up South African international Mokotjo, but the west Londoners' pursuit had previously been foiled by work permit issues. Patience has paid off, however, and a deal was finalised for £880k this summer.

The bustling defensive midfielder, who captained Twente last season, is full of energy and purpose, routinely nicking the ball away from opponents and initiating attacks. Brentford are still searching for their first league win of the season but it hasn’t been for want of trying on the 26-year-old Mokotjo’s part. His task will be made even harder by the departures of Harlee Dean, Maxime Colin and Jota.