Ranked! Every Championship club by their summer transfer business
24. Sheffield Wednesday
Hemmed in by a transfer embargo, Sheffield Wednesday have focused on offloading fringe players from a large squad as they look to get back in line with the Football League’s Financial Fair Play regulations.
Manager Jos Luhukay has been unable to bring anyone in so far but the Owls still have enough quality to compete. Keiren Westwood, undoubtedly the club’s best goalkeeper, remains curiously sidelined with no explanation.
Under the widely despised Assem Allam, cost-cutting remains the focus at Hull following relegation from the top flight. Several staple members of the first-team squad left on free transfers, with Abel Hernandez, Michael Dawson and David Meyler among them.
An entirely new centre-half pairing of Reece Burke and Jordy de Wijs will take time to develop an understanding, but worries already abound with another difficult season in store.
A 5-1 loss to Brentford on the opening day was a reminder of the challenge that Rotherham face to stay in the Championship. There were plenty of arrivals to help them compete, but no money spent on transfer fees as the Millers focused on free transfers and loanees.
Sean Raggett will be relishing the chance to prove himself at a higher level after his remarkable rise with Lincoln City, while ex-Sunderland defender Billy Jones adds much-needed experience. But it’s unlikely to be enough.
Paul Clement has tried to stamp his mark on a Reading team with limited budget, but ageing Republic of Ireland internationals John O’Shea and David Meyler make for uninspiring additions.
The fee for Sam Baldock, believed to be in the region of £3 million, is worryingly high for a striker who has played infrequently – and often ineffectively – in recent years. At least Andy Yiadom and Marc McNulty, free transfers from Barnsley and Coventry respectively, are far more in the required mould.
20. Sheffield United
Driven by the momentum of winning League One with Chris Wilder’s attacking philosophy, Sheffield United made a seamless return to the Championship that had them in play-off contention until they faded away in the final weeks of the season.
They’re unlikely to replicate that sterling effort this time around as Liverpool’s Ben Woodburn looks to fulfil the creative void left by David Brooks’s move to Bournemouth. Spending a club record £4 million on Brentford’s John Egan seems wildly misplaced.
Compared to the expensive and unfocused efforts of last season, the strict terms of a transfer embargo have forced the Blues to operate in a more considered and frugal fashion. A flurry of late arrivals added depth to the squad, if not necessarily the level of quality many supporters had hoped for.
With David Stockdale and Tomasz Kuszczak exiled from the first team, the goalkeeping situation remains a concern, as does the lack of a ball-playing central midfielder. Union Berlin left-back Kristian Pedersen is the standout signing.