Joe Allen, Lewis Grabban and Paddy McNair: Best business in the Sky Bet Championship this summer

The Sky Bet Championship season is about to get under way, but who has done the best transfer business so far?

We have asked the hosts of the Not The Top 20 Podcast – Ali Maxwell and George Elek – to assess which club has had the most impressive summer window.

Not The Top 20 Podcast releases regular podcasts throughout the season, covering the EFL with passion, knowledge and opinionated analysis. Follow them on Twitter @NTT20Pod and subscribe on iTunes and Soundcloud

Brentford

Brentford had a terrible start to last season with the players they lost, and that may well have cost them a spot in the play-offs, or maybe even more. This time round they’ve kept Ryan Woods, Ollie Watkins and Chris Mepham, who have all been subject to interest from clubs higher up.

Woods is vital in the middle, Watkins could do even better after a great debut season and Mepham could be a future England centre-back. Keeping those players along with the shrewd signings they always make thanks to their excellent recruitment team is so important.

Stoke

Joe Allen has been an excellent Premier League central midfielder for the last seven years, he’s only 28 and is arguably the key man for Wales aside from Gareth Bale. He’s got great pedigree and he’s still in excellent nick.

He’s far too good to be playing in the Championship and he’ll be leading Stoke’s charge from the centre of midfield. Holding onto him was huge business for the club.

Ipswich

Keeping Bartosz Bialkowski was vital but it’s one of Ipswich’s signings from League One that has caught our eye. Paul Hurst is a shrewd operator who knows League One and League Two very well and Gwion Edwards from Peterborough is a great player.

Marcus Maddison and Jack Marriott got more of the headlines at Peterborough last season but Edwards is a fantastic winger who will create plenty of chances. Hurst knows the lower leagues better than anyone and Ellis Harrison from Bristol Rovers is also another interesting signing.

Middlesbrough

Set-pieces will be key under Tony Pulis and Aden Flint could easily score double figures this season! He’s done that before for Bristol City in League One.

Paddy McNair has had his injuries issues and he had a tough time at Sunderland, but just before the end of the season he looked a dynamic presence in midfield, getting forward and scoring goals in a number of different ways.
We also know he’s a solid defensive player who is physical and decent in the air, and he could be a real star of the Championship for Pulis’ side.

Nottingham Forest

We can’t talk about transfer business and ignore Nottingham Forest! But it’s not one of the big European signings that has caught our eye, it’s Lewis Grabban.

He may not quite be good enough for the step up but he’s shown over the past few seasons that he pretty much guarantees you goals in this league. He scored even in a poor Sunderland side and then did the same at Aston Villa.
He’s a smart signing for anyone looking to get themselves out of the Championship, and he may well be able to provide the 20 goals that everyone is after. For us it’s one of the smartest pieces of business of the summer.

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