Top 5: Underrated Championship Signings
I’m bored, stuck on an aeroplane. So in order to entertain myself, and hopefully you, here are 5 signings by Championship clubs that may have slipped under the radar.
1. Gil Dias
I think it’s fair to say Forest’s attacking options for next season have been massively improved off the back of an exceptional transfer window. Young Portuguese stars João Carvalho and Diogo Gonçalves seem to have stolen the headlines from their compatriot Gil Dias. Carvalho and Gonçalves have only played 14 Liga NOS games between them, as well as a handful of Champions League appearances. However, despite Dias being as young as the other two, he is much more experienced. He had a hand in 12 goals in his 34 Liga NOS appearances for Rio Ave FC in 2016/17, and then scored 2 and assisted 2 in the 2017/18 seasons for Fiorentina, which earned him the season long loan switch to the Tricky Trees. Undoubtedly, all 3 of the Portuguese wonder kids have the potential to set the Championship alight, but I believe Gil Dias is the most exciting of the bunch.
2. Harry Wilson
Once again, a player who’s had the headlines stolen from him due to Derby signing both Mason Mount and Florian Jozefzoon in quick succession. But Wilson is an amazing coup for Derby after making his season-long loan move. The 21 year old English winger scored 7 goals and set up 4 in his 13 league appearances for Hull last term. It’s safe to say if he can carry such a threat in a struggling Hull side, then his potential for success at Derby is endless. He is sure to excite the Pride Park faithful with his pace and trickery, and he’s only going to get better under the professionalism of Frank Lampard.
3. John Egan
John captained Brentford last season, and his solid defensive performances, as well as leadership qualities, enticed The Blades to come knocking on the door this summer. The 25 year old joined Chris Wilder’s men for £4.5 million and signed a 4 year contract. He made a total of 71 Championship appearances for The Bees, meaning he is bringing crucial second tier experience to Sheffield United, who will be looking to push for the playoffs this season, which looks increasingly likely after the addition of the Irishman, who will further solidify their already sturdy defence.
John is also comfortable with the ball on the deck, which will make him a useful asset to Wilder, who commonly plays a 3-5-2 formation in which it is vital your centre-halves can manipulate the ball effectively.
4. Erhun Oztumer
The Turkish attacking midfielder just joined Bolton on a free transfer from Walsall, signing a two year contract. Erhun’s quick feet and eye for a long-range goal may help Bolton with their forward play next season, an area they truly struggled with last year. Oztumer will also be welcomed to the Bolton dressing room by compatriot Jem Karacan, which will hopefully mean he settles in quickly.
The little Turk (5ft 3in!) scored 15 goals and made 6 assists in 45 outings for Walsall, and if the 25 year old can replicate that form in the second tier, then there will be hope that The Trotters can push for a higher league finish this season, in order to counteract all the uncertainty that lies around the club at the moment.
5. Marc McNulty
After an outstanding season at Coventry City, where he won promotion via the playoffs, the 25 year old Scotsman has made the £1.2 million switch to Reading. McNulty’s eye for goal, which saw him bag a total of 25 goals in 45 games for the Sky Blues solely in the league, combined with his outstanding work rate means he will be a crucial player in Reading’s side. McNulty did also play in League One with Sheffield United before joining Coventry, where he failed to make a significant impact. Despite this, I still believe Sparky McNulty has all the qualities to install himself amongst the top-scorer charts in the Championship.