With the season drawing to a close, we are taking the opportunity to look back and reflect on the top signings of the season in the Championship. Wolverhampton Wanderers took the league by storm to be crowned champions and claim automatic promotion, with a number of summer signings sparking their tremendous season.
The following five players are those who we believe to be the best signings of 2017/2018…
Ruben Neves joined Wolves last summer for a club and league record fee. The Portuguese ace has embodied his side’s rise to dominance and, at 21, will be relishing the chance of kick-starting his Premier League career, having achieved promotion in his first campaign in English football.
The former Porto star has played 38 times for Wolves this season, scoring six goals along the way, and was nominated for both the player of the season and young player of the season in the Championship. His quality cannot be understated and you could argue that he has been the signing of the season for any professional club in the country.
Another Wolves star, John Ruddy signed for the Midlands club as a free agent after being released by Norwich City following the end of his contract. The English goalie has been solid between the sticks for Wolves and will be delighted at the prospect of a return to the Premier League next season, having been relegated with Norwich in 2016.
Capped once by England, Ruddy was named in both the Football League Championship team of the season and the PFA Championship team of the season for 2017/2018. Not bad at all for a free signing.
Scotland international Robert Snodgrass was deemed surplus to requirements at West Ham United last summer after failing to meet the demands expected of him during the 2016/2017 campaign. Whisked away on loan to Aston Villa at the beginning of the season, Snodgrass has found his place in a new claret and blue team, growing to be one of the club’s standout performers.
Villa are still in the hunt for promotion in the play-off positions, and their rise has been significantly aided by the form of their loaned Scotsman. The winger has not only scored seven goals, but has contributed an astounding 14 assists for the Villans, in his 37 appearances so far for the club.
Steve Bruce will be desperate to hold on to Snodgrass for next season, however, his stunning form will have probably fired himself into David Moyes’ plans for West Ham.
Another loaned out Premier League star, Aleksandar Mitrovic joined Fulham from Newcastle United in January, after suffering from a lack of playing time under Rafa Benitez. The 23-year-old has netted an impressive 11 goals in 15 Championship appearances for the London club, which is nearly the same number of league goals he has scored for Newcastle in his two and a half seasons at St James’s Park.
Like Snodgrass, the Serbian’s form may have reignited the chance of a career with his parent club, however, the Magpies will have a big task on their hand warding off interest from Fulham, who will no doubt be hoping to retain his services, especially if they gain promotion.
When Callum Paterson joined Cardiff City last summer, the club knew they were signing a versatile player. Having played mainly as a right-back for the Edinburgh club, Paterson was also occasionally deployed as a striker for Hearts, which is testament to his versatility, but nobody would have predicted that he was set to become a goal-scoring central midfielder for Cardiff.
The Scotland international has netted an impressive 10 goals from midfield for the promotion hopefuls and is one of the most valued members of Neil Warnock’s squad. His development this season has been tremendous and Cardiff will be pleased to have such a promising young talent on their books.