Huddersfield Town have done the unthinkable again! After getting promoted to the Premier League with a negative goal difference, the Terriers have once again defied the odds. Their draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge confirmed their Premier League berth for 2018/19.
However, they need to make significant improvements to their squad if they are to push for a spot higher up the table. They’ve already signed goalkeeper Jonas Lossl on a permanent basis, along with Ben Hamer from Leicester City on a free transfer.
The midfield duo of Jonathan Hogg and Aaron Mooy was impressive and should continue next season too. However, they still need a winger, striker and even a defender, considering David Wagner often switches his formations.
Xherdan Shaqiri’s career has undergone a downward spiral of sorts, from winning leagues and cups with boyhood club Basel to winning the treble with Bayern Munich to joining a struggling Inter Milan and then finally getting relegated with Stoke City. It is usually the other way around for footballers.
Nonetheless, Shaqiri is a player far too good for the Championship and has attracted a lot of attention from Premier League clubs, including Huddersfield.
His release clause is a mere £13.5million and would be a bargain buy in this era of inflated prices. He is still 26 and is vastly experienced in four different leagues. Last season, he was among the best players outside the top six in the Premier League, scoring 8 goals and registering 7 assists for a dull Stoke side.
His crosses, deliveries from set-pieces, dribbling and vision are all of top quality. The stats back it up as the Swiss international makes an average of 2.1 key passes, 1.1 dribbles and 1.6 crosses per game. He has scored some absolute screamers cutting in from the right from his thunderbolt of a left foot.
Huddersfield lacked quality in the final third but next term, Shaqiri could be the player to provide that creative spark.
Niclas Fullkrug is a German striker who had one of the best seasons of his career in 17/18. He has been linked with a move away from Hannover 96 and Huddersfield are targeting the German forward. In fact, he has been linked to a number of Premier League clubs but Huddersfield Town need a quality striker more than anyone else.
Fullkrug is a striker in great form and he is also known to be a deadly finisher. He scored 16 goals in 36 appearances last season and single-handedly saved Hannover from relegation. He was the joint 3rd top scorer in the Bundesliga and he also managed to register 3 assists.
He wins a massive 4.7 aerial duels per game along with creating at least one goalscoring chance per game. Laurent Depoitre and Steve Mounie were decent for Town last season but it is time for an upgrade.
A wildcard entry on this list, Alfie Mawson is a favourite to move away from Swansea City ever since the Swans got relegated. And since Town need a defender, Mawson could possibly be one of the best buys of the summer.
With Terrence Kongolo’s loan deal expiring, Wagner needs a quality centre-back alongside Zanka and Christopher Schindler. Mawson is the consummate player for that position. He is used to playing in a back-three and is adept with the ball at his feet.
He is a solid English defender with a bright future. Having made 32 blocks and a whopping 222 clearances last season, Mawson could fit in perfectly at the John Smith stadium.