A huge number of deals have been completed in the English Football League this deadline day as clubs scramble around looking for that one move that could define the rest of their season. There are players moving to aid in promotion pushes as well as in relegation battles and all have their significance in some way or another.
Here, we pick our top five deadline day signings in the Football League.
Top Five Football League Deadline Day Signings
Jason Cummings – Nottingham Forest to Luton Town
Cummings has spent the first half of this season on loan at League One play-off chasers Peterborough United, scoring eight goals in the process; a respectable return in a team who like to spread the goals around.
Upon the expiry of his deal, it was thought he would be given a chance in the Championship with parent club Nottingham Forest but, instead, he has returned to the third tier, this time with leaders Luton Town.
The Hatters are on an incredible run of form which has seen them displace Portsmouth at the top of the league, and the late addition of Cummings to the squad adds further quality to an already talented squad.
James Collins and Danny Hylton have been scoring for fun so far, but Cummings coming in to assist them is a hugely positive step to ensure they remain in the promotion race.
Sam Vokes – Burnley to Stoke City
As popular as Peter Crouch may be in the English game, it’s clear that Stoke City got the better end of this deal. They may have forked out £9 million for Burnley striker Sam Vokes, but in return, they get Crouch, a high earner, off their wage bill as he joins Burnley as part of their swap, and acquire a proven Premier League striker to help them make a late run for the Championship play-offs.
It’s no secret that this has been a disappointing season for the Potters. Many expected them to bounce straight back to the top flight with the money at their disposal and after managing to keep hold of the majority of their squad, but so far it just hasn’t worked for them.
It’s been a mixed start, too, for new manager Nathan Jones, but the acquisition of Vokes could be the catalyst they need to sort out their campaign and challenge for the promotion spots.
Stephen Walker – Middlesbrough to MK Dons
The English youngster is highly thought of at Boro, despite his few first-team appearances. His debut came in the Checkatrade Trophy, where he scored a penalty in a shoot-out win, but it’s at international level where his record looks far more impressive.
Walker has represented England at three different age groups, U17, U18 and U19, and his most prolific form has come for the latter. He has six goals in seven games for the Young Lions in this age group, three of which came against Macedonia and another as the winner in a qualifier against Iceland.
This sort of quality for an 18-year-old would certainly be highlighted in League Two, especially in a team that are pushing for automatic promotion. It could be the move that helps further Walker’s career, as well as assists the Dons in their immediate return to League One.
Liam Ridgewell – Unattached to Hull City
Ridgewell is mostly remembered for his spells in the Championship and Premier League with Birmingham City and Aston Villa, making a combined total of over 200 appearances for the two Midlands clubs.
He also spent time in the MLS, staying at the Portland Timbers for four years while also having loan spells with Wigan and Brighton in the league’s off-season.
More than anything, Ridgewell brings an immense experience of the Championship with him to a squad that required defensive reinforcements – less so after their recent upturn in form, but still enough that they wouldn’t turn away the right sort of player.
Ridgewell is exactly that, and his signing could be the difference between Hull cementing their place in midtable and slipping back down into a relegation battle.
Andy King – Leicester City to Derby County
Another member of Leicester City’s 2016 title-winning squad made the move away from the Foxes as Andy King became the latest member of Frank Lampard’s revolution at Derby County.
King has played in League One, the Championship and the Premier League for Leicester, so has a wealth of experience that he can bring to the side.
The Rams also had to bring someone in with the rumours that midfielders Tom Huddlestone and Jacob Butterfield were temporarily on their way out of the club but, with no move materialising for either player, King instead just adds some healthy competition to the Derby midfield, something they will need if they are to maintain their push for the play-offs with Lampard at the wheel.
For a full list of all the deadline day signings in the Football League, click here.