Championship clubs: Did they meet their transfer needs?

Date published: Tuesday 7th September 2021 4:05 - Nathan Spafford

Lowe Ojo Sporar

With a week remaining in the transfer window, we looked at what each Championship club needed. Now we re-visit that list to see whether boxes were ticked.


AFC Bournemouth
What did they need?
A Dominic Solanke back-up.

Did they get it? Yes.

Jamal Lowe is not an out-and-out number 9 like Solanke, but the versatile forward’s arrival from Swansea after two largely successful seasons playing second fiddle to Andre Ayew is a clever move for all concerned. For his and Bournemouth’s sake, Lowe will want to go one better than he did with Swansea and finally feel the highs of promotion to the Premier League.


What did they need?
Another versatile option.

Did they get it? In a manner of speaking, yes.

Barnsley did not sign just one player in the final days of the transfer window; they signed two. Each befitting of the Barnsley blueprint, between the pair they cover the positions we identified before the deadline. Manchester City midfielder Claudio Gomes and Bayern Munich full back Remy Vita will look to bring a touch of class to Markus Schopp’s side this season.


Birmingham City
What did they need?
A striker, reunited.

Did they get it? The first part, yes. The second part, no.

Ideally, Birmingham needed another striker to add to their firepower up front, not that you’d have known it as they put five past Luton in the opening weeks of the Championship. We envisaged a reunion for Lee Bowyer with former Charlton forward, but instead Watford icon Troy Deeney was reunited with his boyhood club. That’s nice.


Blackburn Rovers
What did they need? Another in the mould of Harvey Elliott.

Did they get it? Yes.

Another in the mould of Harvey Elliott. Young. Talented. Winger. Premier League loanee. Brighton’s Reda Khadra – set for 12 months at Ewood Park – ticks all the boxes.


What did they need? A returning loanee.

Did they get it? No

They needed Ellis Simms. They did not get Ellis Simms. Nobody got Ellis Simms.


Bristol City
What did they need?
A big striker

Did they get it? No

We believed that the Robins needed a big striker to replace Famara Diedhiou. They didn’t get that, but a little upturn in form has allayed those fears for now. Full-back George Tanner from Carlisle United is a decent signing though.


Cardiff City
What did they need? Another option on the wings.

Did they get it? Nope.

They didn’t get anyone in the last few days of the window. But they kept Kieffer Moore, so we’ll call it evens.


Coventry City
What did they need? Someone to aid versatility.

Did they get it? Maybe.

Todd Kane is a pretty solid choice at right-back, but is less solid in other positions. Given Coventry’s penchant for a back three, he could slot in on the right of a back three or potentially at wing-back on that side. That’ll do, because we’ve not had one right for a while now.


Derby County
What did they need? A Jozwiak replacement, if possible.

Did they get it? No.

Not a surprise that this wasn’t possible. Nobody was really possible.


What did they need? A Premier League-ready centre back.

Did they get it? No.

With Fulham’s defence having been their weak point in pretty much every season since the dawn of time/over the past half decade. Nathaniel Chalobah offers pretty sweet protection in front of the backline, and out of nowhere, the Cottagers’ defence has become stable. Marco Silva is a miracle worker.


Huddersfield Town
What did they need? A senior striker with less Huddersfield history.

Did they get it? Yes indeed.

Mipo Odubeko has little experience in senior football, never mind a history with new loan club Huddersfield Town, who have done great work to lower the average age and likely physio bills accrued of and by their forward line by bringing in the 18-year-old on a temporary deal from West Ham. Another W for the Terriers.


Hull City
What did they need? A better centre-back option.

Did they get it? Good God no.

Hull City were one of our biggest losers of the Championship transfer window. From front to back, they have built a good League One side for the second season in a row. Unlike last season, they’re not in League One. It is strikingly obvious at centre-back, and it could well cost them.


Luton Town
What did they need? A reliable goalkeeper.

Did they get it? No.

Not a massive deal. That we were offering West Brom back-up Alex Palmer as an option as a quite literal safer pair of hands shows the quality fleshed throughout this Hatters squad. Nathan Jones has stuck with Croatian goalkeeper Simon Sluga for the rest of the season. That’s fine.


What did they need? A new second, or even first-choice striker.

Did they get it? Yes.

Slovenian striker Andraz Sporar is most definitely the man Middlesbrough needed to boost their attacking numbers. At 27, Sporar has excelled in his home country and played for some of Portugal’s biggest clubs with a decent return. Middlesbrough should be very excited. The other 23 teams should be very, very afraid.


What did they need? Someone to share the creative burden

Did they get it? Yes

Rumour has it you’re never more than six feet away from a Sheyi Ojo loan club. In London, that stat may even be generous as the Liverpool winger returns to the capital with Millwall, hoping to punish the other second-tier clubs who didn’t take on the exciting 24-year-old. 12 goal involvements in a stoic Cardiff City side last season suggests more of the same on the horizon at the New Den in 2021/22.

Millwall boss Gary Rowett



Nottingham Forest
What did they need? A progressive midfielder.

Did they get it? Yes.

Braian Ojeda may not be a household name in England, or many other places right now, but the 21-year-old is exactly what Forest needed to bridge the seismic gap which always appears between the back six and the front four. If Ojeda can manage to be the player between both halves, Forest could be onto a winner, figuratively and literally. That is, of course, if he doesn’t end up on the scrapheap once/if Hughton goes. He wouldn’t be the first.


Peterborough United
What did they need? A tenacious midfielder.

Did they get it? Let’s see.

They signed a midfielder. Conor Coventry defied the orders of the gods to join his namesake Sky Blues, and didn’t get much of a chance to impress in a largely settled Lincoln side in League One last season. A good prospect in the West Ham youth teams, tenacious isn’t the first word that springs to mind when watching Coventry, but Darren Ferguson has a track record of changing players to his style. That could happen here.


Preston North End
What did they need? A reliable striker.

Did they get it? No

No striker but two good deadline-day signings in the form of winger Josh Murphy, who could operate as part of an auxiliary front two, and St Johnstone midfielder Ali McCann. That could do.


What did they need? Rob Dickie’s replacement.

Did they get it? No.

…but they didn’t need to. Somehow, the likes of Southampton and Real Madrid failed to take the behemoth of Championship centre-backs. That is extremely good news for QPR.


What did they need? A senior centre-back.

Did they get it? Yes, to a tee.

I’ll hold my hands up on this one. Centre-back was not the biggest priority for Reading going into the final days of the window. As such, an apology was being prepared in this section, and then the Berkshire club went and signed Scott bloody Dann. 34 years old and the epitome of a Premier League and Championship journeyman centre-back, Dann has saved my blushes, and he may or may not be good for Valjko Paunovic’s side.


Sheffield United
What did they need? Aaron Ramsdale’s replacement.

Did they get? Yes.

Oh yes indeed. Robin Olsen was an able deputy for Jordan Pickford on loan at Everton last season that the Swede even ventured into competition territory over the less impressive cover option. With neither Michael Verrips nor Wes Foderingham taking full advantage of their brief chances to take over as the Blades’ No.1, Olsen should fill the very big gloves comfortably.


Stoke City
What did they need? Not a midfield destroyer.

Did they (not) get it? Yes.

That wasn’t confusing, was it? But let’s break it down further. Such was the success of Stoke’s summer, they could afford to be told what not to sign. Some bemoaned the lack of a ‘proper’ Stokie destroyer in the middle of the park. Joe Allen, Sam Clucas, Romaine Sawyers, Mario Vrancic and Jordan Thompson et al offer a great variety of skills and complementing partnerships, but none are the all-out tough tackler associated with the red and white side of the Potteries.

Quite simply, this team does not need that. Michael O’Neill knows as much, and this team will do just fine, thank you very much.


Swansea City
What did they need? An upgrade on Steven Benda.

Did they get it? No

Ah. Swansea said goodbye to an era of players who had come so near and yet so far under Steve Cooper, and replaced them largely with a swathe of players who will entice and excite once – if – Russell Martin can get them going. The task to do so will be more difficult with German goalkeeper Benda looking likely to be the first-choice ‘shot stopper’ for at least the first half of the season. Good with his feet, he may be, but the silly mistakes really need cutting out.


West Bromwich Albion
What did they need? A Mowatt and/or Livermore back-up

Did they get it? Yes.

Jayson Molumby has excelled at Championship clubs in the past with slightly less lofty ambitions than that of West Brom. The 22-year-old Republic of Ireland international will provide a great option for Valerien Ismael’s side on an initial loan spell. This was one of the smartest Championship signings of the entire summer.


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