Can Steve Mounié help Huddersfield Town to Take a Major Step Up?

HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND - APRIL 14: Steve Mounie of Huddersfield Town during the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Watford at John Smith's Stadium on April 14, 2018 in Huddersfield, England. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)

Being favourites for relegation has never bothered Huddersfield Town. In each of the last two seasons, it was widely predicted that they would be one of the three teams to succumb to relegation. They defied the odds the first time, beating Reading in the play-off final, and they are so close to doing it again by staying in the Premier League. Would a repeat show a major step up for David Wagner’s side?

Are Huddersfield Town About to Take a Major Step Up?

While they are by no means safe, the Terriers are just four games away from pulling off another shock; staying in the Premier League. They deserve the success too, surprising many with their confident style of play and picking up some notable scalps, such as the 2-1 win over Manchester United in October.

The Terriers are nothing if not fighters, a small dog in a big pack. With the smallest budget in the Premier League, Huddersfield have tried to spend wisely, looking to make more than one season in the top flight after 40 years away. Spending wisely is nothing new to the Terriers; they had one of the smallest budgets in the Championship. Astute signings, including Steve Mounié, has helped Huddersfield get to where they are.

Steve Mounié Instrumental in the run in

Helped by top scorer Steve Mounié, who has netted seven goals, the Terriers are not in the Premier League just to make up the numbers. Jonathan Hogg and Aaron Mooy have the highest pass rates in the squad, with 86% from 961 completed passes and 80% from 1249 completed passes respectively. Mooy also has created the most chances (46) and has four assists to his name. If Mounié can continue to convert from these chances that are being created, he will be an important part of the last few matches of the run in.

Only the top seven teams have kept more clean sheets than Huddersfield, who have nine. The Terriers have scored 27 goals this season, the same number as Swansea and West Bromwich Albion. They may not be free-scorers, but they seem to score at important times and when it is needed most, highlighted by Tom Ince’s late strike in the 1-0 win over Watford.

Can the Terriers Stay up?

Should Huddersfield avoid the drop at the end of the season, the big question is, will the Terriers become a regular top flight team again? Can they deliver on a shoestring budget and could they ever do what Leicester City did and win the Premier League title? It wouldn’t be crazy to belive they can sustain top-flight football. However, to push for a European spot any time soon is unlikely with the funds available.

Huddersfield Town could indeed be a regular fixture in the top flight and sustain their position. Bournemouth have been in the top flight since 2015 and have really made a go of it so far. Finishing 16th in their first season and then sixth in their next, both clubs have followed a similar pattern, with a decline and a forced administration and both came out the other side. However, Bournemouth have achieved Premier League status before the Terriers and have made a success of Premier League football, currently sitting in 11th place with the final few matches; the Cherries look to be safe once again. Huddersfield Town will be looking to use Bournemouth as the model to make a go of top-flight success.

 

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