Here's a look at the biggest spending clubs in the Championship this summer
The start of the Championship season is now just days away – and this is the second part of our look at what clubs have done in the transfer market this summer. If you are interested to know which clubs have signed the most players, then take a look at part one. For this article, the focus is on the total transfer money spent.
Please note that the figures quoted are not exact as the true value of some deals are not known either because the fee is undisclosed, or simply due to different fees being quoted within the media. It’s also the case that some players may not be included – if they are a signing for the U23 team for example.
As always, this will be a hybrid article of good factual information combined with opinion and analysis. We are also not taking into account the amount of money that the clubs mentioned may have received in transfer fees for players that have left.
So, now we have that out of the way – let’s get stuck into it…
1. Middlesbrough (£42.29m Spent)
Middlesbrough are leading the way on transfers this summer with a particular focus on buying quality forward options. Regular readers of mine will know that I am an enthusiastic fan of Boro and their manager Garry Monk. My original prediction for them was a play-off place for the coming season – but this level of spending could see them securing automatic promotion.
What will be interesting about the team next season is how they approach things. In the past, Boro have focused on being solid at the back – and arguably a lack of firepower caused them their biggest problems in the Premier League. The temptation will be to be a more expansive team, but the likes of Fulham and Norwich can tell you that scoring loads of goals is no guarantee of promotion.
The biggest transfer fee that the club have paid out this summer has been £14.54m for Nottingham Forest striker Britt Assombalonga. There is no doubt that he is one of the best goalscorers at this level – and you will hear more about him in an upcoming article. It will certainly be interesting to see if the biggest spenders become the best Championship team.
2. Wolves (£18.73m Spent)
Wolves may have only spent about half the money that Boro have – but £18.73m is still a substantial spend at Championship level. Clearly, there has been some very high-quality players signed – but there a will be a question about whether or not they can handle the rough and tumble of Championship football.
The majority of players that they have signed will not be familiar with football at this level – and the two that do in John Ruddy and Ryan Bennett were way below-par last season with Norwich. The club also spent around £30.69m on fresh players last season – and it didn’t do them much good in all honestly. Therefore, I’m sticking with my prediction of a season of struggle laying ahead for them.
The biggest deal that Wolves have done is for FC Porto defensive midfielder Ruben Neves. There is no doubt that the 20-year-old is a major talent and the club may gain some new fans that are eager to see him in action. It is still to be seen if the Championship will be the right breeding ground for him, and how long he will stick around if the club does not progress. Wolves will be hoping though that it will be £15.22m well spent.
3. Leeds United (10.25m Spent)
Leeds United are an interesting club and they performed very well last season. Some people may feel it was disappointing that they fell outside of the play-off positions – but overall it was a considerable success. The changes at Elland Road have a serious chance of disrupting things, and I’m tipping Thomas Christiansen to be a manager to be sacked before Christmas.
The club’s £10.25m spend hasn’t seen a massive transfer fee spent on an individual player. It’s also interesting to note that only one of their new signings is British. Without knowing too much about the finer details of this transfer policy, clubs that are successful in the Championship usually find a better balance with signings
Nevertheless, the Whites clearly have done some quality business in some areas. The biggest transfer fee that they have paid was on Pontus Jansson at £3.23m. The Swedish defender was on loan at the club last season and excelled in the Championship. Therefore, it looks like that will prove to be money well spent.
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4. Sheffield Wednesday (£9.95m Spent)
Anyone of a certain age will remember Sheffield Wednesday as an established Premier League side – and a big club as well. It has certainly been a big shock for the football world, in general, to see Wednesday drift down to the lower leagues – and struggle to get back to the Premier League. However, the club do seem to be on their way back at last.
The last two seasons has seen the Yorkshire side involved in the play-offs. I also have a lot of time for their manager Carlos Carvalhal – who I regard as one of top managers at Championship level. The focus on their spending so far this summer has been on striker Jordan Rhodes who has cost £9.95m.
The former Huddersfield Town forward was on loan at Wednesday last season – but didn’t make the sort of impact that the club had hoped for. However, now that move has become permanent; he will now feel more settled and ready to show the sort of goalscoring form that he has in the past with the likes of Huddersfield and Blackburn Rovers.
5. Fulham (£7.19m Spent)
Fulham impressed a lot of people with the way they approached the game last season. It was a strong start to the campaign, and after a dodgy middle period, also a strong finish. It’s hard to create an argument that Fulham won’t be a team to watch again in the coming season. In fact, I have them down to be the possession football team to watch.
The Cottages have shown a reasonable amount of ambition in the transfer market this summer by being the fifth highest spenders. This is after already having one of the strongest squads in the league, which includes a very strong midfield. The club’s biggest problem from last season was having a quality striker.
They have now addressed that after an extensive search with the capture of Aboubakar Kamara for £5.1m. The striker is young and had a good goalscoring record last season in France, and may well prove to be the success, in the league, that Jonathan Kodjia has been. Fulham know what is needed in the Championship and seem to have done some canny business.
6. Brentford (£5.19m Spent)
Brentford have a very exciting squad and I’m certainly not the only person that has a sneaky feeling that things might go rather well for them. In fact, I have mentioned them in my list of teams that will sizzle in the Championship this season.
Simply put, there is a lot of really good things going on with the Bees at the moment, and they have some really exciting young talent to work with. This summer they have spent £5.19m and it’s impressive that the London team are the sixth highest spenders in the league.
The fact that they have been able to capture the signature of young Exeter forward Ollie Watkins is a good demonstration of where the team are right now. Watkins is a very impressive player and will want to play in the Premier League – and Brentford certainly could be promotion contenders next season. However, they will want to ensure that they keep hold of their best talent if that dream can become a reality.
This completes the end of the content section for this article as we look at the biggest spenders in the Championship. It will certainly be interesting to review this list again at the end of the season to see what impact spending had on success in the league. There is certainly an argument that the club’s that spend the most are the ones that need to.
Of course, in addition to the number of players and the money invested; it all comes down to picking the right players. If you enjoy Championship content like this, then keep an eye on my profile page for all of the latest updates. Next, I will be looking at some of the best players in the Championship over 30.