Championship Transfer XI featuring Leeds, West Brom and Stoke City signings
Now that the transfer window in England is closed, we can take a look at some of the deals from the last couple of months. Some clubs have been relatively quiet during the summer, while others made outstanding deals. Here’s a perfect starting XI, with a 4-2-3-1 formation, based on the transfers in the English second-tier this summer.
Championship transfer XI
GK: Jamal Blackman (Leeds)
Jamal Blackman made a switch from Chelsea to Leeds on loan in July after impressing at Sheffield United last term. The 24-year-old made 33 appearances in all competitions for the Blades last season, keeping 10 clean sheets. He will challenge Bailey Peacock-Farrell for a starting spot, and he seems like a great signing for Marcelo Bielsa.
RB: Jack Hunt (Bristol City)
Jack Hunt made the switch from Sheffield Wednesday to Bristol City this summer. Hunt is a fast and explosive player, who has been consistent for all sides he’s played for. He has vast experience in the Championship and could be crucial for the Robins’ ambition to finish in the top-6.
CB: Paddy McNair (Middlesbrough)
If he manages to stay fit, McNair can bring a lot to the table for Middlesbrough. He’s a versatile player, who can be used both as a centre-back and as a defensive midfielder. During his time with Sunderland, he even played behind the striker on some occasions, and in the past, we’ve seen him operate as a right-back as well. The Northern Irishman is an athletic, powerful footballer, who’s not afraid to get stuck in a challenge. Add to that his ability to score when going forward, and you have a very decent player on your hands.
CB: John O’Shea (Reading)
John O’Shea brings the knowledge and calm head Reading have been lacking in recent seasons. The Irishman is vastly experienced, having won numerous trophies with Manchester United, while also playing strongly for Sunderland. Even though he’s 37, he’s still a top player who can help the Royals with his experience.
LB: Conor Townsend (WBA)
Townsend is set to provide cover and competition for Kieran Gibbs. Having come through the ranks at Hull City, Townsend had loan spells at Grimsby, Chesterfield, Carlisle, Dundee and Scunthope before settling at Glanford Park. West Brom fans can expect to see a versatile left-footer, who traditionally plays as a defender, but can operate in a more attacking role if called upon. He contributed with four goals in League One last season as Scunthorpe made it to the play-off semifinals.
CM: Jack Colback (Nottingham Forest)
The former Sunderland man has many useful qualities. He’s comfortable with the ball at his feet, his positioning is top notch, and his passing ability is also excellent. He’s vastly experienced, with almost 180 games in the Premier League for both Sunderland and Newcastle. He quickly became an important player for Karanka last season when he was on loan, taking part in 16 games and scoring one goal. He played full 90 minutes in all of those matches and missed just one – against Barnsley, when he was on the bench. His stay at City Ground was quite productive and enjoyable for both him and the fans. His passing percentage was 89.6%, he made 2.7 tackles per game, and had 0.9 key passes.
CM: John McGinn (Aston Villa)
McGinn joined Aston Villa from Hibernian. He’ll aim to bring some energy to the Villa midfield. McGinn is known for being a player who likes getting stuck into challenges.
AMR: Tom Ince (Stoke)
Ince has scored 78 goals in 300 career games in all competitions and he’s still only 26. He’s played for clubs such as Derby County and Huddersfield, and seems like the type of player who can help Stoke City return to the top-flight.
AMC: Emi Buendia (Norwich)
Buendia, who joined on a 4-year deal from Getafe, can play both as a winger and as a classic No. 10. After Alex Pritchard left in January, Norwich visibly struggled and won just 6 out of 21 games in the Championship. Buendia could help them for sure.
AML: James McClean (Stoke)
McClean has been capped 59 times for Ireland, while the 29-year-old also has huge experience on the domestic scenes. He has made 356 career appearances, almost half of which have come in the Premier League with Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion. He has scored 54 goals throughout his career as well, assisting a further 42.
CF: Dwight Gayle (WBA)
Gayle has been at Newcastle for two years since joining them from Crystal Palace. He scored 23 goals during the 2016/17 season, playing a large part in the Magpies’ promotion from the Championship. He made a loan switch to WBA as part of the deal to take Salomon Rondon to St. James’ Park. Last term the Englishman managed just 6 goals in the Premier League and will be looking to find his form at The Hawthorns.