Each transfer window there are a number of deals that get struck which end up offering far better value than on initial viewing. We are obsessed, both as casual fans and in the media, at looking out for the headline signings which often play out in protracted transfer sagas with each new denial of knowledge from club officials being jumped upon before the inevitable deal goes through.
This season we are already watching Antoine Griezmann’s move to Barcelona play out as a giant soap opera on the world stage yet everyone knows this is where he is going. Yet with all the chatter and bluff there are some clubs pulling off excellent moves without getting the reaction they deserve.
With that in mind we are going to look at some of the deals already done and delivered in England that should be getting more attention.
Previous club: Luton Town
New club: Leicester City
The right-back signed from the Hatters is coming off a brilliant campaign in League One where he spent much of the season playing on the left due to injuries to others. He was one of the key players in Luton’s title winning side, creating 24 chances while netting three goals and notching seven assists. Leicester paid Luton £12m for the full-back and signed him to a five-year-deal at the King Power Stadium.
Although Ayoze Perez has more experience at the top level after joining the Foxes from Premier League rivals Newcastle, Justin could be a future England international and it wouldn’t surprise anyone who watched him at Kenilworth Road if that turns out to be the case.
Previous club: Manchester City
New club: Norwich City
Patrick Roberts is one of a number of exciting players in the Manchester City system who really needs some game time to develop. The Londoner started out at AFC Wimbledon when young before moving onto the Fulham youth set-up. The Citizens picked him up from the Cottagers for £12m and he was sent out on loan to Celtic where he put in some impressive performances.
Last season he was with Girona in Spain but struggled to make an impact and a move to Norwich could be an excellent move for both Roberts and the Canaries.
Previous club: Forest Green
New club: Huddersfield Town
Fee: Free (compensation agreed)
Huddersfield have done a cracking piece of business by picking up Reece Brown from Forest Green Rovers. The midfielder was one of the most sought after during the transfer window after some superb displays for the Green Devils in 208-19.
His ability to collect the ball from deep and pick out a pass is sensational and his time at Forest Green has really helped the former-Birmingham man into an exciting prospect for the Terriers. If they can pair him with a couple of ball winners in the centre of the park, Huddersfield have a just pulled of a bargain.
Previous club: Barnsley
New club: Brentford
Ethan Pinnock has always been destined for bigger things ever since he was signed from Dulwich Hamlet by Forest Green Rovers. Last season he helped Barnsley to promotion via the runners-up spot in League One and his performances clearly didn’t go unnoticed.
Brentford have done well to sign the defender who could have arguably gone to a bigger side but nonetheless, the fee was decent for the Tykes as they have already started adding to their squad while Brentford have picked up yet another classy EFL defender.
Previous club: Brentford
New club: Gillingham
Brentford have a plethora of talented ‘keepers and this has worked to the advantage of League One Gillingham. They saw their giant Czech stopper Tomas Holy leave on a free to Ipswich this summer but rather than wallow in self-pity they went out and signed a better keeper.
Jack Bonham was one of the brightest goalkeepers in League One last season while on loan at a struggling Bristol Rovers side. He was one of the reasons that, despite their problems, they had such a good defensive record. This is a real coup for Gillingham as Bonham could go straight into a side a division higher but instead has chosen to be the number one for the Medway club.
Previous club: Al-Ain
New club: Grimsby Town
On first glance this appears to be one of those strange transfer deals that crops up from time to time in the English fourth tier but there is a method to the madness.
Michael Jolley, Grimsby’s manager, previously worked in Sweden and before playing in Saudi Arabia with Al-Ain, Moses Ogbu played in with several clubs in the Nordic country. He appears to be a quick, direct player who has both strength and pace. If he can come to terms with the pace and physicality of League Two football then this will be an intriguing deal and one that could work out well for the Mariners.
Previous club: Cambridge United
New club: Colchester United
This is probably the best signing you’ll find in League Two this season with Colchester United pulling off a real coup. Jevani Brown has been a brilliant player for Cambridge since he was signed from St Neots Town. He was a bright prospect when he joined Peterborough but a poor attitude led to the player dropping into non-league football. He has since found his way back and has ripped up the division creating more chances (51) than any other League Two player during the 2018-19 campaign which was also the third most chances created per 90 minutes.
He could have easily signed for a League One club and had plenty of interest but Colchester stumped up the money Cambridge were asking while also selling him the vision of their plans for the coming campaign – pulling off the biggest coup in the window with it to boot.
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