The Football League has seen a whole host of phenomenal talent arrive this summer. While it may not rival the spending of the Premier League clubs, a lot more money has been thrown around in this window than previously, particularly in the Championship.
With the Football League more competitive than ever, domestic signings were joined by lots of international ones too. Clubs are now having to look abroad more often to find talent they think will benefit them.
That hasn’t stopped teams from making thought-out, well-planned transfers, however. These are the top ten of those who have arrived in the Football League this summer.
Top Ten Football League Transfers
Tours FC to MK Dons
While MK Dons have not enjoyed a good start to their season, Mali international Ousseynou Cisse has certainly shone some light on a so far dismal campaign.
The 6ft 4″ defensive midfielder arrived in Milton Keynes from French side Tours FC. Previously, he has also had stints at SC Amiens, Dijon, Rayo Vallecano and Waasland-Beveren.
Cisse was Robbie Neilson’s third signing in his first full campaign as manager.
The Dons are currently one place above the relegation zone in League One after a less than impressive start. However, Cisse has been solid in his performances since his arrival.
He was arguably Man of the Match in the Dons’ only league win so far, over Gillingham. However, he was beaten to the accolade by debutant goalscorer Osman Sow.
Cisse also impressed with his performance at centre-back in the Checkatrade Trophy win over Brighton U21’s. This shows a level of versatility that very few Dons players have.
This acquisition is a massive help to MK Dons. If the rest of the squad can improve to Cisse’s level, then expect a valiant promotion push from the Buckinghamshire side.
Brentford to Birmingham City
Birmingham City beat off competition from Fulham and Middlesbrough to land the signature of Brentford’s highly-rated winger, Jota.
The Spaniard has joined Birmingham on a four-year contract for a club-record fee.
Birmingham did not reveal the extent of the fee, however it is a substantial amount considering the previous record was the £6 million they paid for Nikola Zigic.
Jota told the Birmingham City website upon joining “I think I have come to a big club for the Championship and I think it can be a big year for us. Birmingham is a big club, has a big manager. The manager is one of the most important managers in England. I think we have a good team, good players, a good team to try and go up.”
Jota joined Brentford from Celta Vigo in 2014, and scored 23 goals in 78 appearances during his stay in West London. He will be missed dearly by Bees fans, who now have just memories of some mesmerising performances by their start player.
On the other hand, Birmingham have gained an exciting, dynamic winger who could quite easily be playing much higher in the Championship. This could be the signing to help Birmingham on their way back up the league again.
Cardiff City to Portsmouth
Stuart O’Keefe has signed a season-long loan deal at League One side Portsmouth. The deal is subject to international clearance due to Cardiff being under the control of the Welsh FA.
The 26 year-old helped Crystal Palace gain promotion out of the Championship, however has struggled since arriving in South Wales.
He did, however, enjoy a successful loan spell with MK Dons in the second half of last season. In just 18 appearances, he scored four goals. This is more than in any of his stints with other teams.
With his experience and style of play, he will be a good addition to an already talented Portsmouth squad. He shone on his last spell in League One, and Pompey fans will be hoping that their new signing can do it again.
Preston North End to Oldham Athletic
Eoin Doyle is clearly a talented goalscorer. He hit the ground running when he arrived in England from Scottish side Hibernian. During a two-year stint at Chesterfield, he scored 32 goals in 69 appearances.
After these extremely impressive performances, Cardiff paid an undisclosed fee for the player in February 2015. His form went backwards, and thus he was sent on loan to Preston. Despite scoring just four goals for Preston, they saw enough in him to sign him permanently.
He struggled again, however, and after a loan spell with Portsmouth, he now finds himself at Oldham Athletic. The Latics are yet to gain a point so far this season, and are looking defeated already, sitting second bottom of League One.
The signing of Doyle, though, could be enough to revitalise a so far poor season for Oldham. He may have struggled recently, but the talent is clearly there. If he can regain the form he had at Chesterfield, he’ll be an instant hit in Greater Manchester.
MK Dons to Sheffield United
George Baldock became the second of the Baldock brothers to leave MK Dons when he joined Sheffield United this summer.
The highly-rated right-back joined Chris Wider’s side for an undisclosed fee after standing out in a poor MK Dons side last season.
Baldock is a versatile player, having come into the Dons side as a central midfielder. He reverted to a right-back under Karl Robinson to cover for injuries, but quickly made the position his own.
He was influential in the Dons’ 4-0 thrashing of Manchester United in 2014, and was a fan favourite in Milton Keynes.
His impact is yet to be felt at the Blades having joined them while he was injured. However, once he works his way into the side, there’s no doubt he will fast become the first name on the team sheet for the Yorkshire club.
Luton Town to Peterborough United
If anyone thought that Jack Marriott would struggle to make the step up to League One, they were severely wrong.
The 24 year-old scored 22 goals in 79 appearances during a two year spell at Luton Town, however he moved to Peterborough United earlier in the window.
He certainly hit the ground running at the Posh, too. Marriott has scored six goals in his first four games for Peterborough, fast becoming the top scorer in the league. Rotherham’s Kieffer Moore and Fleetwood forward Devante Cole trail him with four.
The forward joined Peterborough for an undisclosed, yet ‘substantial’, fee. With the way he’s started this season, he’s already gone a long way in proving the amount paid for him.
Nottingham Forest to Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough splashed the cash to land club-record signing Britt Assombalonga.
The Congolese international enjoyed his most prolific spell during his one season at Peterborough. Here, he scored 23 goals in 43 appearances. This was enough to convince Championship side Nottingham Forest for a reported £5 million.
Despite an injury-plagued three years at the City Ground, Assombalonga scored 30 goals in 65 appearances. Middlesbrough clearly saw the potential in the 24 year-old. If he had not been injured for almost half of that time, those statistics would be far higher.
Upon joining Middlesbrough, Assombalonga said “I can’t wait to meet the manager and get ready for next season. There’s a good feeling around the place. From the minute I walked in it felt right. I want to thank the Forest fans for being behind me, especially after my injury. They gave me a chance in the Championship and I want to say thanks to them and wish them all the best for the season.”
Lugano to Leeds United
Ezgjan Alioski is arguably the most unknown player on this list. However, if early season form is anything to go by, you’ll soon know who he is.
The winger has impressed so far in his Leeds United career, after moving from Swiss side Lugano. Leeds beat off competition from clubs around Europe to sign their man, and he has certainly repaid them so far.
He’s only scored one goal so far in his five appearances, but it was one to remember. He struck a beautiful 25-yard effort into the bottom corner against Nottingham Forest to seal a 2-0 away win.
Alioski was the third highest scorer in Switzerland’s top flight last season. He scored an impressive total of 17 goals. As well as this, he provided 14 assists during his one season with Lugano.
Alioski doesn’t have a great scoring record for his national side, but this is down to his versatility more than anything. Macedonia deploy him as a left-wingback rather than a winger. He has scored once in 13 appearances for his country.
This looks to be a major signing for Leeds in their bid for a play-off push. They seem to have finally plugged the gap left by Alex Mowatt with some real talent.
Chelsea to Aston Villa
After 22 years at Chelsea, club captain John Terry made the decision to leave the Blues and join Steve Bruce at Aston Villa.
At the age 36, Terry is unlikely to play every game for Villa. However, his vast experience will be an invaluable asset to the Villains as they look to regain their Premier League status.
It was clearly a hard decision for Terry to leave Chelsea. However, the decision was made easier by his friendship with Steve Bruce.
It hasn’t been a brilliant start for Terry or Villa as they sit 18th in the Championship. However, as they find their feet, expect Terry to be an instrumental part of Villa’s season.
Porto to Wolves
This just had to be number one on the list. Wolves broke their transfer record for the second time in a year with the reported £15.8 million signing of Porto midfielder Ruben Neves.
It’s understood that the move came about as a result of the friendship between Wolves’ owners, Fosun, and Portuguese agent Jorge Mendes. As well as this, Neves also played under now Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo at Porto.
The deal is the most expensive in Championship history. This was previously held by Jonathan Kodjia after his £15 million move to Aston Villa last season.
Neves became the youngest captain in Champions League history in 2015 when he led Porto against Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Neves has already made his mark on the Championship, too. The midfielder scored a stunning 30-yard curling effort in a 3-2 win over Hull City.
What’s even more astounding is the fact that Neves is just 20 years-old. He still has most of career ahead of him to improve, and there’s no doubt he will in a Wolves team now packed with talent.
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