Here's a review of the Championship clubs that have signed the most players
The season is nearly upon us and so it’s a good time to take a look at that all-important transfer activity. This is the first in a two part look at the transfer activity that Championship clubs have been up to this summer. In this one, we will be looking at the clubs that have made the most signings, irrespective of how many players they have let go.
In the second part, the focus will turn to the amount of money spent, which again is irrespective of the amount of money received. So, do look out for that, as it will be coming in the next few days. I would also add there is a lot of difference between the two lists – and we will be covering half of the teams in the Championship across the two articles.
I should also mention that the data selects the options here and for the related article, so let’s get stuck into it...
1. Leeds United (9 Signings)
Leeds United had an unexpectedly good season last year that very nearly resulted in a play-off place. This season, I’m not expecting them to be able to do as well – but they are certainly making a splash in the transfer market. At the time of writing, the Whites have made nine signings making them one of the most active teams in the league for transfers.
The approach seems to have been to strengthen several areas of the team without paying out massive fees for individual players. It’s worth noting though that key players have also been lost such as star left back Charlie Taylor – and it will certainly be interesting to see how quickly the new boys can settle in.
What’s interesting about the transfer policy is that all signings are foreign and the club will be hoping they can make a quick impact on the league. Pontus Jansson was on loan at the club last season and Vurnon Anita has played in England for some time now – so those two appear to be good signings at the very least.
2. Barnsley (9 Signings)
Barnsley certainly proved to be very impressive in the first half of last season that led some to think they might secure a play-off place. However, this was not the Leicester City fairy-tale and that form couldn’t stay with them for the full season. It could be argued that part of the reason behind that was the loss of several key players during the January transfer window.
Things have continued to go in that direction with the loss of captain Marc Roberts to Birmingham City, being a particularly uncomfortable one. Nevertheless, the Tykes are doing their best to address the situation – and have been one of the most active teams in the transfer market this summer. Nine players have been acquired, a total that includes two Premier League loans from Chelsea and Everton.
The total transfer outlay is not known because the fees for Cameron McGeehan and Ethan Pinnock have not been disclosed. However, the total for the other signings is £536k, showing that this club is buying in bulk – but also finding value. I should also mention that the club have signed Ben Williams in addition to the nine, who will play in the U23 team – so has not been included in the official total.
3. Wolves (10 Signings)
Regular readers of mine will know that I’m not expecting Wolves to have a good season – and they are including in my article on big clubs that are set to struggle. There is no denying that they have been a very active club in the transfer market – but such a flurry of new signings may unsettle the decent work that Paul Lambert was doing last season.
There is a real mixture of activity here with players from various countries as well as three loans coming in from the likes of Porto, AS Monaco and Atletico Madrid. The big-money signing of Ruben Neves from FC Porto is the highlight of all this business.
My concern for them is a question of if they are signing the right players that are going to excel in the Championship – and if they have solved the problems from last season. Ryan Bennett and John Ruddy have both joined the club on frees from Norwich City. Obviously, they both know the league – but they both suffered form issues last season, and there is a reason why they were released. There is also an eye to the future in Wolves’ transfer policy with two U23 signings not including in our official total here.
4. Norwich City (7 Signings)
Norwich City fell short of their expectations, for last season, as they failed to secure a top six position. The club have recognised this failure and made several changes including introducing a sporting director and new head coach. It’s fair to say that transfers this summer have been done differently than they have been for some time.
There is a focus on reducing the wage bill and finding value in the market, so expectations for the new season may need to be adjusted. The play-offs are the target, but a place in the top-half of the league shouldn’t be seen as a total failure given all the changes.
Seven new players have come in so far, but three significant players have left as well. Looking at what they have done in the market; it’s the additions of Marcel Franke and Mario Vrancic that look to be the most exciting. The German market has been taken advantage of, but there have also been some useful signings from the UK as well. In addition to the seven, Adam Phillips is joining from Liverpool to link up with the U23 side – and he is a real prospect for the future.
Watch pre-season soccer matches with bet365's live streaming service. VIEW THE SCHEDULE on your desktop or log in if you're on a mobile.
5. Cardiff City (7 Signings)
Cardiff City are perhaps another surprise entry in this list as they are a club that have generally struggled in the Championship over recent seasons. Neil Warnock did a decent job of stabilising the club last season as they secured a 12th place finish – and will be looking to kick on into the new season. The activity that they have shown suggests they might just be an outside bet for the play-offs.
The Bluebirds have certainly got on with their business this summer and have made seven signings for their first team as well as a further one for the U23 team. The total investment has been around £4.34m with the money going on Lee Tomlin and Danny Ward. These are two very smart signings that will add to Cardiff’s attacking options and they are players that know the league well.
Ward is a very canny signing and the Bluebirds have taken advantage of Rotherham’s relegation here. I don’t hear a lot of people talk about this player – but he is one of the most consistent performers at Championship level. The other signings they have made, join the club on free transfers – and they may well have picked up one or two bargains there as well.
6. Bolton Wanderers (7 Signings)
We round up this list up with yet another surprise entry. Bolton are new to the league, for this season, but they have a rich previous history of both the Championship and Premier League. The club were promoted in second place from League One last season – and are clearly determined to make their mark on the Championship.
To this end, seven players have been signed – but not a penny in transfer fees has been spent. Nevertheless, Bolton have acquired some really talented players, especially in those attacking positions. Newcastle duo Adam Armstrong and Sammy Ameobi have come in along with Cardiff striker Adam Le Fondre.
I haven’t yet mentioned Bolton in one of my season predication pieces. It’s also hard to analyse how newly promoted clubs will get on. Some do really well – while others struggle near the foot of the table. It’s encouraging to see this club bringing in fresh players that hopefully means they won’t be caught short of quality once the season begins.
This completes the end of the content section for this article as we have reviewed the top clubs in the Championship for number of signings. If this has whetted your appetite for more transfer content, then you may wish to check out our piece on some of the best deals done in the Championship this summer.
As always, if you enjoy Championship coverage like this – then keep an eye on my profile page for the latest updates. Next, I will be looking at the teams that are expected to start the fastest in the league – and the highest spending teams so far this summer.