Two Leicester signings rank highly in this list of top 2023 Championship summer transfers, which also features Coventry’s replacement for Viktor Gyokeres…
10) Tom Ince (Reading to Watford, £50,000)
The proven Championship attacker was always going to fall on his feet after grabbing 13 goal contributions during Reading’s relegation season.
And this is a deserved upwards transfer for Ince, who is joining a club he has tormented throughout his career with his five goals and four assists in just nine appearances versus the Hornets.
If the 31-year-old comes anywhere close to replicating this form while wearing a Watford shirt, Valerien Ismael’s side will be onto a winner with this signing. An added bonus for them is that a ludicrously low relegation exit clause has enabled them to snap up Ince for just £50,000. The lucky sods.
9) Karlan Grant (West Brom to Cardiff City, loan)
While I angered many a Cardiff fan for having the audacity to predict that returning hero Aaron Ramsey will be a flop next season, I do reckon Grant will fare much better for the Welsh outfit.
The 25-year-old striker – who joined West Brom for £15m in 2020 – has endured a mixed spell in the West Midlands after his 19-goal season for Huddersfield Town in 2019/20. Despite this, he still has a pretty impressive Championship record with his 41 goals and 11 assists in 140 appearances.
Grant has always delivered when he is trusted and plays regularly in the second tier and as striker loanees go, you would be hard-pressed to find an option as proven as the Cardiff newcomer is at this level. While they are likely to struggle and be in the relegation mix once again, his goalscoring could prove to be a huge difference-maker.
8) Kevin Nisbet (Hibernian to Millwall, £2m)
Here we have a striker with zero Championship experience, but this does not mean that Nisbet is not an exciting signing for Gary Rowett’s side.
Millwall broke their record transfer fee last summer on Zian Flemming (who was bloody brilliant) and they have bettered this again with a reported £2m fee being spent on Nisbet, who scored 12 goals in 20 appearances during an injury-disrupted season for Hibernian in 2022/23.
Seventeen-goal Tom Bradshaw carried the scoring load for Millwall last season as they narrowly missed out on the play-offs once again. But the 22/23 campaign proved that they are gradually on the rise and the added threat of Nisbet could help the Lions finally end up in the top six this time around.
7) Joe Bryan (Fulham to Millwall, free transfer)
While Nisbet is an excellent signing for Millwall’s attacking department, Bryan is a sure-fire upgrade on 32-year-old Scott Malone, who the Lions took the decision to release upon the expiration of his contract.
Bryan fell down the pecking order at Fulham prior to his nightmare loan spell at Ligue 1 side Nice (where he made just ten appearances in 22/23), but he was among the top left-backs in the Championship during his time at Bristol City.
Aged 29, he is returning to the second tier with a point to prove after barely getting a sniff last season and if he can shine as he did at Bristol City, he will be a superb freebie for Millwall.
6) Ellis Simms (Everton to Coventry City, £3.5m)
After losing in the Championship play-off final, there were always going to be some high-profile departures at Coventry this summer. Gyokeres has joined Sporting Lisbon for £17.5m plus add-ons (and Gustavo Hamer will presumably be next to leave).
The task of replacing Gyokeres was never going to be easy and in the end, Mark Robins’ side opted to spend £3.5m (£8m including add-ons) for Simms.
Those mocking Coventry for spending such a significant fee on Simms must be forgetting that they still have huge money left over from the Gyokeres deal and the ex-Everton man – who shone while on loan at Sunderland last season (seven goals and two assists in 17 games) – still has a lot of room to grow at the age of 22.
5) Ethan Laird (Man United to Birmingham City, £750,000)
Birmingham City are challenging Leicester City for the tag of biggest winners in the Championship summer transfer window.
Krystian Bielik, Koji Miyoshi and Siriki Dembele are among their eye-catching additions, but Laird is arguably their best signing to date this summer.
The Blues have benefitted from the arrival of their new American owners before next season, but they have flaunted their increased wealth wisely with astute business. Man Utd academy product Laird stood out in a poor QPR side last term and he is well-placed to establish himself as one of the best wing-backs in the Championship.
4) Rob Dickie (QPR to Bristol City, £1m)
After *just about* doing enough to stay up last season, QPR’s financial difficulties have meant that Dickie and Seny Dieng have had to be sold on to Bristol City and Middlesbrough for around £3m combined.
The exit of Dickie is a particular blow as he was one of their better performers last term and Bristol City would have had to pay a much bigger fee for him had QPR been in a stronger financial position.
Under the radar, Bristol City are enjoying a great window, with fees also being spent to snatch Ross McCrorie and Jason Knight from Aberdeen and Derby County respectively.
3) Callum Doyle (Man City to Leicester City, loan)
As the summer transfer window has progressed, it has become increasingly apparent that Leicester City will be the clear favourite to win the Championship in 2022/23.
Under Pep Guardiola’s disciple Enzo Maresca, the Foxes are setting themselves up for an immediate return to the Premier League. New signing Conor Coady will be vital both on and off the pitch for them this season and he is set to partner Doyle in defence.
Man City seemingly have an endless stream of talented youth products and Doyle is among the best of them. Having shone while on loan at Coventry last term, the centre-back is a major coup for Leicester and this season the 19-year-old will be expecting to add a Championship promotion to his résumé.
2) Ryan Manning (Swansea City to Southampton, free transfer)
The 27-year-old’s transition from central midfielder to a left wing-back in recent years has been the making of him and his 15-goal contribution season for Swansea City last term set him up for a big transfer elsewhere.
This was made easier with his contract at the Welsh side expiring this summer and while he deserves a chance in the Premier League, he has opted to reunite with recently departed Swans boss Russell Martin at relegated Southampton.
Manning was perhaps the best Championship free agent on the market heading into this summer and Southampton have done bloody well to get him.
1) Harry Winks (Tottenham Hotspur to Leicester City, £10m)
A few eyebrows were raised when Winks’ move to Leicester City was first reported, as many were understandably expecting him to join a rival Premier League club if he was to leave Tottenham this summer.
But the England international has been tempted to join a club in a league where he will be the big fish. And no doubt the significant money he’s presumably been offered helped to edge the deal over the line as well.
This statement signing for Leicester sent out an immediate message to their potential promotion rivals that they mean business under Maresca. And it will take a colossal f*** up for them to not get promoted with Winks and other Premier League-quality players in their squad.