The Championship is back up and running for another season and the table is slowly beginning to take shape after the opening weeks. With games coming thick and fast due to the winter break imposed by the World Cup, teams will need to pick up points as quickly as possible to avoid falling short in either a bid for promotion or to avoid the drop down to League One.
Often regarded as the most competitive league in Europe, it’s hard to check the Championship predictions with WinDrawWin and pick a clear winner due to the division’s unpredictability. Games are often defined by fine margins and teams can become reliant on one player hitting peak form to pick up points. As the transfer window draws to a close, sides from across the Championship will be looking for those players that can make a difference, but who has conducted the best business? Read on, as we look at the best signings so far this window in the English second tier.
Kal Naismith – Bristol City
When Luton Town failed to secure a place at Wembley for last year’s play-off final, it was almost inevitable their team of renegades and veterans would be picked apart. Despite being a popular figure at Kenilworth Road, Kal Naismith left the Hatters this summer to join Bristol City, smart business from the Robins who secured the 30-year-old for free at the end of his deal.
The versatile full-back has been used as something of a utility man thus far under Nigel Pearson and although they’ve suffered a difficult start to the season, when they find a fluid system that can support Andreas Weimann’s goals, the points will surely start flying in.
Josh Cullen – Burnley
The career of Josh Cullen is a strange one. Having failed to forge a career at West Ham United, a plethora of loans across a variety of teams in the English football pyramid saw the Irish international become a real journeyman, and this was reinforced when he joined Belgian side Anderlecht in 2020.
The centre midfielder matured over his two years in Brussels and worked with now Clarets manager Vincent Kompany, who brought him to Turf Moor when he took over earlier this summer. It’s a shrewd bit of business from the former Manchester City captain, who has also signed Scott Twine, Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Luke McNally and Arijanet Muric to rebuild a new-look Burnley spine in a bid to push for automatic promotion.
Chris Wilder is slowly but surely building a stable squad at Middlesborough, and bringing in Manchester City goalkeeper Zack Steffen on loan will certainly help his chances of a play-off place. The American, whose error in the FA Cup all but handed Liverpool a place in the final at Wembley last season, had become accustomed to the bench under Pep Guardiola and now gets the opportunity to play club football every week ahead of the World Cup. Steffen will slot right in at the Riverside and is a welcome addition to Wilder’s squad, with Boro still winless in all competitions at the time of writing.