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What EVERY Championship team needs in the summer transfer window

Marcelo Bielsa Leeds United


The Tykes prefer recruiting under 25s, but what Daniel Stendel’s current squad lacks is Championship experience. 

You’d expect a central defender who has played at this level to come in for the excellent Liam Lindsay (now with Stoke City), and a wide man may swell the ranks too. Leeds United’s Mallik Wilks has been heavily linked on the back of a stellar campaign on loan at Doncaster Rovers. 

Barnsley’s goalkeeping concerns are sorted. Star shot-stopper Adam Davies has also joined Stoke, but two highly-rated custodians have been signed to plug the gap in Bradley Collins and Samuel Sahin-Radlinger. 

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Birmingham City

Pep Clotet has promised a more exciting brand of football for 2019/20, but to facilitate this he’ll need more flair in his side. Free agents Ravel Morrison and Jack Payne are rumoured targets who may fit the bill, although Morrison is currently on trial at Sheffield United.  

Captain Michael Morrison’s shock departure leaves the team short on strength and leadership at the back, but his replacement will likely be more modern in style. Blues fans would also like to see Che Adams replaced with a similar style forward too. 

Lee Camp’s place in goal should also be under threat – he was shaky last term. 

Blackburn Rovers

Tony Mowbray says he wants Blackburn to keep the ball for longer periods, so Rovers will surely eye up a couple of midfielders who are used to being part of possession-based sides. Bradley Johnson has been snapped up on a free transfer, but Mowbray may well eye another new technician to dictate the tempo of matches. 

He was also unhappy with the concession of 69 goals in 2018/19, so you can bet the Yorkshireman will be beefing up the quality of his porous back four. Full-backs will be of interest, as will central defenders with pace.  



Fending off interest in their best young players usually occupies Brentford during the transfer window, and this summer will be no different. 

The arrival of Norwegian Christian Nørgaard adds more quality in midfield, so next on Thomas Frank’s agenda will be a left-sided defender to replace the cultured Yoann Barbet, who has joined QPR. 

Dan Bentley’s sale to Bristol City means that the Bees will be eyeing a reliable Championship custodian to replace him. 

Bristol City

A speedy striker who can score frequently is an absolute must for Lee Johnson, who has already done some understated but smart business this window. Targetman Famara Diedhiou is excellent, but needs a sharp foil alongside him. 

Fourteen Championship sides scored more goals than Bristol City last term, which explains why they failed to make the play-offs. 

With defender Tomas Kalas now signed up on a permanent basis, along with several new faces including the exciting Sammie Szmodics, the Robins’ squad is shaping up very nicely. 

Cardiff City

Neil Warnock has swiftly replaced all-action long throw specialist Aron Gunnarsson with a younger model in the shape of Will Vaulks, who looks tailor-made for the Bluebirds. 

Cardiff’s next port of call is likely to be a centre-forward. Bobby Reid is proven at Championship level, but to bounce back to the Premier League at the first attempt they need at least one other dependable frontman – likely to be a tall, physical striker to suit their style of play. 

Charlton Athletic

Lee Bowyer may have just been promoted, but he’s currently in the midst of a major rebuild at The Valley. 

Tom Lockyer and Chuks Aneke have been signed as like-for-like replacements for Patrick Bauer and Joe Aribo, but Bowyer still has to fill the void left by a number of classy loan players who helped the Addicks to promotion. 

Charlton definitely need a defensive midfielder and another central midfielder, although they have at least tied down left-back Ben Purrington to a permanent transfer. It will be a busy few weeks. 

Derby County

Derby County

The Rams have a lot of activity to cram into the final few weeks of the window, since most of last season’s star men were youngsters on loan from other clubs. 

Priority number one for new boss Phillip Cocu is a pacey centre-back, followed by a left-back, two central midfielders and an attacking midfielder/wide man. 

The Dutchman is well stocked for forwards, but it’s imperative that Derby use the loan market wisely again to ensure they don’t take a major step backwards. 


Fulham’s top-flight defending was nothing short of horrendous, so it will be a surprise if Scott Parker doesn’t revamp his hapless rearguard in readiness for the Championship slog. Two new centre-backs have to be on his wishlist. 

The other problem positions which need fixing are in defensive midfield and up front. Calum Chambers is back at Arsenal and it’s near certain that Aleksandar Mitrovic will leave, so those two holes must be plugged. 

Names being linked include Chelsea youngster Trevoh Chalobah and Southampton striker Charlie Austin, both of whom would fit the bill nicely. 

Huddersfield Town

Huddersfield’s squad is better suited to Championship football, but it still requires a tweak or two.  

New signing Tommy Elphick adds leadership at the back, and talented young midfielder Reece Brown looks like a smart buy from Forest Green, but other gaps have to be filled. 

The Terriers are lightest on the flanks – too many central-minded players were asked to perform out wide last term, and a couple of new wingers would reinvigorate their attack. A left-back could be on the cards too, following Chris Lowe’s return to Germany. 

Hull City

New Tigers boss Grant McCann is happy with the squad he’s inherited, but don’t expect him to be quiet in the transfer market. 

Much depends on the future of star man Jarrod Bowen. If the wide man is sold, it will leave a 22-goal void in McCann’s starting XI that’s tough to fill. Attack is certainly where he will start his summer search. 

Leeds United

Leeds United

Marcelo Bielsa needs more numbers to work with: it’s as simple as that. The Argentine’s small squad was stretched to its limits last season, and Leeds’s results suffered badly when injuries struck.

More depth is certainly required in defence, although Ben White’s loan deal from Brighton will help in that regard. Up front, the Yorkshire giants should be adding one extra goalscorer to the mix too. 

Kemar Roofe and Patrick Bamford are excellent, but the lack of a prolific frontman cost them dearly last term. Wolves’s Helder Costa looks like a fine arrival on loan.  

Luton Town

Graeme Jones has identified a lack of Championship experience as his prime concern this summer. The arrivals of winger Callum McManaman, defender Martin Cranie and midfield battler Ryan Tunnicliffe are a nod to that, and all three will complement Luton’s hungry young squad nicely. 

If more new faces join, the Hatters could well need to supplement their midfield options. It’s been a strong department for them in the past, but a step up in level may catch one or two of last season’s regulars out. 


Boro were the fifth-lowest scorers in last season’s Championship, a miserable statistic which explains why they didn’t make the play-offs. 

With this in mind – coupled with Jonathan Woodgate’s pledge to play attacking football – it’s logical that the Teessiders will prioritise strikers, attacking midfielders and wide men in this window. They don’t have many creative types inside the final third, and some of their finishing was incredibly wasteful last term. 

With a solid enough platform at the back, Boro just need a reboot up top. Expect proven goalscorers to be signed. 


The Lions have lost two experienced goal-getters in the shape of Lee Gregory and Steve Morison (who had a combined 24 goal involvements last season), so it's easy to see why they’re being linked with strikers. 

The giant Matt Smith has joined from QPR, and on paper he’s exactly the type of forward they need. They must now find a pacier forward to work around him. 

Keeper Frank Fielding has joined, but with three shot-stoppers leaving, Neil Harris is targeting at least one more. Elsewhere, it will be important to replace Ryan Tunnicliffe with another midfield warrior. 

Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest

New boss Sabri Lamouchi is reportedly in talks with keeper Abdoulaye Diallo, who is out of contract with Rennes. The Frenchman’s predecessor Martin O’Neill had previously lined up a loan move for Manchester City stopper Aro Muric, which may still be in the pipeline. 

Lewis Grabban would benefit from a new partner or somebody to provide greater competition up front. His understudy Daryl Murphy only netted three times in 2018/19. 

Forest also lack a dynamic central midfield general, so Lamouchi may be on the lookout for one of those too. 

Preston North End

North End are a solid side, and Patrick Bauer’s arrival from Charlton adds even more depth in defensive areas. 

It’s the central midfield unit that could do with sprucing up at Deepdale. Ben Pearson, Paul Gallagher and Daniel Johnson all did fine last season, but Alex Neil can probably find a couple of upgrades. At 34, Gallagher’s place may be under the most threat. 

The Lancashire outfit will also be hunting for a striker. Loanee Lukas Nmecha has returned to Manchester City, so someone else must be found. 


Mark Warburton has been busy acquiring both youth and experience since taking the reins at Loftus Road. 

Established defenders Lee Wallace and Yoann Barbet look like clever signings, while the promising midfield loan pair of Luke Amos (Tottenham) and Matt Smith (Manchester City) have joined as well. 

After the sale of star man Luke Freeman, a new frontman who can score 10-15 goals for QPR next term is a must. None of their forwards came close to reaching double figures last term. 


Jose Gomes has made Reading more of a possession-based side since taking the helm, so he’ll target signings that fit his philosophy better. 

Unsurprisingly they have been linked with a few midfield technicians, and the Portuguese head coach will also eye up defenders who are comfortable passing out from the back. 

It’s important he upgrades Reading’s rearguard, because in 2018/19 no Championship team faced more shots per 90 minutes. With terrific loan keeper Emi Martinez back at Arsenal, the most urgent signing is arguably a reliable custodian. 

Sheffield Wednesday

Sheffield Wednesday

Steve Bruce has been passive in this summer’s transfer window, with stability the watchword at Hillsborough. He fixed a dodgy Wednesday defence that was led by loanee Michael Hector, so signing the stopper on a permanent basis from Chelsea is his immediate priority. 

Once that happens Bruce may look to recruit a new left-back, as the Owls look light in that area. Lee Cattermole has been strongly linked with a free transfer, and he is a signing that makes sense. 

Adding a midfield workhorse should free up the gifted Barry Bannan to perform higher upfield. 

Stoke City

Stoke’s work in this window is looking good. Snapping up five high-quality free transfers including playmaker Nick Powell, and buying Barnsley central defender Liam Lindsay for £2 million, represents an impressive start to Nathan Jones’s rebuild.  

The Potters boss has reinforced the weakest areas of his side already, but despite Lee Gregory’s arrival from Millwall it feels like they are still a striker short. 

As the third-lowest scorers in last season’s Championship, their finishing must improve dramatically – but if they find the right striker, Stoke can contend for promotion. 

Swansea City

Offloading more high earners from their Premier League days will help Steve Cooper create a fresh Swansea in his own mould – so that is mission number one at the Liberty Stadium. 

The sale of Daniel James, coupled with other wide players leaving the club, means the Welsh side look dangerously short of quality wingers to supply the ammunition for Oli McBurnie. Finding a speed merchant to fly down the flanks is crucial. 

Swansea also require another goal threat other than McBurnie, who practically carried them in 2018/19 with 22 league goals. 

West Bromwich Albion

The sooner West Brom sell prized asset Salomon Rondon, the sooner Slaven Bilic can crack on with his transfer business. 

No team in the Championship’s top 10 conceded more than the Baggies, so defensive reinforcements are needed. Replacing the Watford-bound Craig Dawson is a must, and a new right-back will be targeted now that Mason Holgate is back at Everton. 

Attacking midfielder Filip Krovinovic is tipped to join from Benfica on loan, so the last piece of the jigsaw will be up front. With Rondon off and Dwight Gayle back on Tyneside, Bilic has to bring in a quality striker. 

Wigan Athletic

Wigan Athletic

Paul Cook has his hands full replacing Nick Powell, Dan Burn and Reece James, who were all influential figures during the Latics’ strong end to 2018/19.

Finding the right centre-back partner for Chey Dunckley is crucial, and Cook is also reportedly in the market for a midfielder, winger and centre-forward. 

Names linked include Portsmouth’s Jamal Lowe, Benfica’s Alfa Semedo and Saints forward Sam Gallagher. To avoid another relegation scrap it feels like Wigan need at least four excellent new additions. 

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