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The best transfer of the summer

Paul Fletcher | 10:14 UK time, Monday, 4 August 2008

Nothing excites a football fan over the summer months quite as much as a few new faces.

I have always enjoyed turning up for a pre-season fixture to take a look at the summer signings. The fact that you can never really conclude anything about a player in a pedestrian and more or less completely meaningless game against some local amateur outfit takes a back seat while you try to wrestle with the big questions.

Are they any good? Has the gaffer finally found the missing piece of the jigsaw? Does this guy ever kick the ball with his left foot? How on earth did the manager find someone from the second tier of the Belgian league?

Come to think of it, summer signings probably don't do any harm to season ticket sales and a constant flow of transfer speculation keeps the local paper ticking over during the fallow summer weeks.

But with the Football League starting on Saturday, just what has been the best bit of business during the summer?

transfers438.jpgI'm not talking necessarily about the most expensive or high-profile - it could be a wise old head on a free transfer or a real gem unearthed from non-league. What I'm looking for is the most inspired signing of the summer, the player who could make the difference between success and failure.

I'm not going to pretend for a moment that I'm familiar with every decent transfer - that is where you lot come in - but here are a few contenders for your consideration.

Derby County, not surprisingly, have been very busy and I think the striking partnership of Rob Hulse (£1.75m from Sheffield United) and Nathan Ellington (season-long loan from Watford) could be the best in the Championship.

Ellington was terrible last season but the word is that he is desperate to prove his knockers wrong while Rams boss Paul Jewell certainly knows how to get the best out of him. Hulse is a talented footballer but has different attributes to the pacy and athletic Ellington and they should complement each other. Defender Alan Stubbs also looks a good acquisition.

Freddy Eastwood's move from Southend to Wolves really didn't work out but he should be a decent acquisition for Coventry, while Arturo Lupoli, once of Arsenal, is an intriguing loan signing for Norwich from Italian side Fiorentina.

Nicky Maynard is an intelligent footballer, with good awareness in and around the box. If Bristol City were a touch predictable towards the end of last season then he should add a new dimension to their game, though at £2.25m from Crewe he did not come cheap.

A couple of veterans worth keeping an eye on are striker Andy Cole and midfielder Lee Carsley. Cole has moved to his home-town club of Nottingham Forest and the 36-year-old wants his final season as a player to end in promotion. A big ask. Carsley has joined Birmingham on a free transfer from Everton. He was a regular last season and I think he could prove to be a brilliant signing. The fact he has been made captain in the absence of Damien Johnson hints at the impact he has already had.

Several teams have looked to shore up their defences. They might not grab headlines but Mark Hudson (Palace to Charlton) and Kaspars Gorkss (Blackpool to QPR) could prove to be important and much-needed captures.

Leeds are desperate to win promotion to the Championship and reports suggest that midfielder Andy Robinson is set to play an important role. Argentine Luciano Becchio remains an unknown quantity but the striker has spent time with Boca Juniors, Barcelona and Mallorca (though last season he played in Spain's third tier with Merida).

Derby County and Crystal Palace fans no doubt remember Marco Reich, the German forward who is back in English football with Walsall having joined from Kickers Offenbach. He was quality last time he was here and in League One he should have plenty to offer.

David Livermore was very consistent at Millwall but after joining Leeds in July 2006 the midfielder was sold by the Yorkshire club to Hull less than two weeks later. The Tigers loaned him to Oldham last season but after signing for Brighton permanently in July, I expect him to have real presence for the Seagulls.

A colleague of mine is adamant that the signing of the summer in League One is Kieran Lee, who has joined Oldham from Man Utd. I've never seen him play - have you? As a full-back/midfielder he certainly provides options for Latics boss John Sheridan.

Liverpool central defender Jack Hobbs is hoping to gain valuable first-team experience on a season-long loan at Leicester from Liverpool. The Foxes have also brought in defender Michael Morrison from Cambridge United. Manager Nigel Pearson is a former centre-half and both could blossom under his tutelage.

Huddersfield boss Stan Ternent, a wily old operator, has gone for experience with the likes of Chris Lucketti (Sheffield United) and Keigan Parker (Blackpool). Watch out for an improved showing from the Terriers.

In League Two, Lincoln boss Peter Jackson has also gone for experience, bringing in the likes of Frank Sinclair and Stefan Oakes.

Most deals at this level have been either free transfers or season-long loans but one move that caught the eye was Shrewsbury shelling out a club record £170,000 for Forest striker Grant Holt. He didn't really deliver at Forest but has been prolific through pre-season and will be determined to deliver at his new club.

New boys Exeter have plumped for experience in striker Marcus Stewart. The 35-year-old has made more than 500 league appearances and should bring plenty of knowledge, though his scoring record at previous club Yeovil was far from spectacular.

But one of the best deals in League Two has surely got to be Notts County signing defender Michael Johnson on a permanent contract. He made a huge difference after arriving at Meadow Lane on loan last season and remains an impressive and consistent performer.

But how many potentially sensational signings have I missed and how many of the ones listed above do you think will make a big impression over the coming months?


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  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    Maybe could have had a bit more research than focusing mainly on ex premiership players in the Championship, with the LEague One and Two sections appearing as nothing more than a side note once more.

    My hope for League 2 signing of the year would be our stealing of McLaren. Top assists in League one last year, turned down a renewal from tranmere to come to us and hopefully will help us justify favouritism for the top!

    Surely a player dropping down a league and turning down several offers from clubs a division higher might have been noticed Beeb research team?

    Michael Boudling did the same? no?


    "Andy Cole....Ive heard of him, lets whack him down"

    is easier than actually looking at the Transfer pages

  • Comment number 3.

    I Think Derby signing Kris Commons, and Earnshaw going the otherway could prove significant to both sides, although earnshaw wasnt in the Derby squad lots last season, could be missed by Derby.

  • Comment number 4.

    Guy Moussi to Forest - likely to become a great player on current evidence.

  • Comment number 5.

    Definitely Guy Moussi is the one to watch at Forest.

    Agree with the other comments that the article throws up predictable names and not a lot of proper research. Sorry Paul...

  • Comment number 6.

    Pauk Anderson on loan to Nottingham Forest from Liverpool.

    Ask any Swansea fans, where he was on loan last season, he is good.

    Hulse and Ellington best partnership in the championship?

    Doubt it, IMO Cole and Earnshaw will be good pairing, like Windass and Campbell were for Hull, Experience and pace. Earny is proven to be a top quality player in the championship.

    Next season promotion;


  • Comment number 7.

    Gavin Williams to Bristol City. Working with a manager who he stated "gets the best out of him". If he can stay injury free, the form that once took the skilful and creative midfielder to the Premiership with West Ham could prove him to be a Championship bargain.

  • Comment number 8.

    Well done for missing out on the transfer of Kieran Westwood to coventry from Carlisle - a very exciting keeper who played the biggest of roles in almost taking Carlisle to the championship last year.

    Also missing out the signing of Michael Bridges to Carlisle - will he have the same impact as his last spell?

    But what the hell do you care. League one only stretches as far as Leeds to Leicster according to the bbc.

    Pointless article.

  • Comment number 9.

    Kevin Nicholls to Luton?

    Turned down offers from Championship clubs and took a wage cut to rejoin a club 30 points adrift at the bottom of the Football League.

    Good enough for the Championship, and the extra incentive of playing for the club he loves, should mean he enjoys an excellent second spell with the Hatters.

    And he was on a free!

  • Comment number 10.

    Andy Butler..

    Scunthorpe to Huddersfield - Free Transfer

    Very highly rated at Scunthorpe, brilliant defender!

    Up The Terriers!

  • Comment number 11.

    Paul! No mention of the 312* players** Andy Scott has got for Brentford over the summer?

    These have ranged from old hands such as Ian Pearce training with us, hoping for an Andy-Cole-at-Forest season, to whichever kid at the local park under the flyover had the newest looking boots.

    Then we signed Charlie Mac from Southend and both our supporters got excited enough to nearly spill their tea.

    Though, given that once Scott took over midseason 07/08 and took a team destined for non-league football on a run of results that would have netted the division if we started like that, I wonder why he's replacing nearly the entire first XI.

    **also estimate

  • Comment number 12.

    Ellington "pacy and athletic"? Compared to a wheelie bin, perhaps. Mind you, during his month off for Ramadan, even a wheelie bin might be more effective...

  • Comment number 13.

    I think a few are being a tad harsh on the article,fletch clearly stated he doesnt know in great detail all of the summer transfers thats gone on in the football league.

    I think James o'connors free transfer from burnley to sheffield wednesday could turn out to be a real coup.On what ive seen so far he seems to have given the owls something that they were missing alot last year which is a cool head in the middle of the park.If we had had that last year i think the owls would of been flirting with the play offs and not relegation.

    So in terms of making the biggest difference to a team i think Jimmy o'connor could take the crown.

    Just my thoughts though.


  • Comment number 14.

    nice to see you never mentioned any of the swansea signings

    like Jordi Gomez who turned down top spanish teams to come here on loan

    Gorka Pintado, El Torro!

    Ashley Williams signed from Stockport for a record fee

    this is literally an awful article and should get deleted asap so the bbc dont get laughed at too much

    ps yeah Paul Anderson is amazing
    hoping because the way you guys play he might not have as big of impact :-p

  • Comment number 15.

    I'm excited about the prospect of Kieran Lee playing for us this season and he looks to be a very good acquisition.

    Demar Phillips looked class in last weeks friendly and if we can tie him down we have got a blinding squad for this season and a good shout at promotion.

    All we need now is a quality left-footed left back. anyone know of one going cheap?

  • Comment number 16.

    Aleksander Tunchev

    Snapped up by Leicester City in The CSKA Sofia liquidation sale.

    CSKA skipper and Bulgarian international centre half.

    POTENTIALLY - the signing of the summer for a div 1 side.

  • Comment number 17.

    Kevin Nicholls has returned home! Best signing of the summer, and considering he regretted leaving after only a few weeks 2 years ago, he will be happy again and back to his best. He has already been named capatain too.

    Come on Luton

  • Comment number 18.

    Whoa, whoa, whoa.

    I'm definitely getting the feeling that lots of people reading this are taking the hump in quite a big way if no mention has been made of signings that they feel will be great for their club.

    Just to be clear - I'm only throwing a few names out for consideration, not suggesting that what lies above is in anyway a definitive list.

    All the players that people have been mentioning - great, that is exactly what I was hoping for.

    After all, no one person is hardly going to have seen loads of new signings at different clubs to see how they are shaping up while plenty of decent looking signings inevitably escape under the radar.

    And as for the suggestion that the BBC is not interested in the lower reaches of the Football League. I don't think that is true on this particularly blog - and if come the end of the season you feel League One and League have been neglected please feel free to come back and give me a good old battering.

  • Comment number 19.

    Paul Fletcher

    What is the point of making an article and giving your suggestions if you are not aware of most signings, sureyy then the article should be titled. Paul Fletcher only knows about a few signings this summer, heres what he thinks.

    You should have simply not bothered writing this blog and instead written about how everyone loves Man Urinal, or there should have been some research into the signings and backgrounds of all transfers from all leagues, maybe a different article for each league. As most people will only have interest in one league anyway

  • Comment number 20.

    "and if come the end of the season you feel League One and League have been neglected please feel free to come back and give me a good old battering.

    Apparently you can't even be bothered to type the word 'Two' because Division Four is so unimportant to you.

  • Comment number 21.

    Decent summary there...people just need to realise that all you have done is your best! And I'm sure that everyone will have different opinions on the best signings in the Football League so if everyone contributed then there might aswell just of been the full list of every transfer! Well done for what you have done though!
    Please drop me an email as it would be good to talk to you and I have a couple of questions to ask which I'm sure your easily be able to help me with.

  • Comment number 22.

    Ross McCormack, bosman free, Motherwell to Cardiff, was subject to 1.5m bids in January - could be the deal of the summer.

  • Comment number 23.

    Some people are idiots.

    And why do they all seem to want to write in with inane moans!

    The point of the article isn't to tell you who the best signing of the summer is, as chances are you have made up your own mind about who your team's best player is.

    The point is to mention a couple as a starting point for some insightful debate and opinion.

    Making idiotic posts about a typo or playing the martyr whose 'lowly team' doesn't get enough coverage doesn't contribute in any way. It makes you look bad. If you feel your team has been misrepresented or your best signing isn't listed then let people know by commenting with your review of the pre-season. Which after all is what Paul invited you to do (twice)

  • Comment number 24.

    I can't believe I've just signed up to tell you how rubbish this article is.

    It's pretty stinking rubbish.

    Although, it has inspired me to go and write an article for 'Woolly Underware Monthly' about the effect global warming is having on cosy pant supplies within the UK. I do admit that I have limited knowledge in this area, but I may as well give it a go, eh?

    Do you get paid for this?

    Anyway, I'd say Gary Hooper will be one to watch, well done to Scunthorpe on signing such a gifted young player.

  • Comment number 25.

    Well said Olympique!!!

  • Comment number 26.

    21. At 3:12pm on 04 Aug 2008, LiamCPFC_7 wrote:

    Decent summary there...people just need to realise that all you have done is your best! And I'm sure that everyone will have different opinions on the best signings in the Football League so if everyone contributed then there might aswell just of been the full list of every transfer! Well done for what you have done though!
    Please drop me an email as it would be good to talk to you and I have a couple of questions to ask which I'm sure your easily be able to help me with.

    I would happily do "my best" if getting paid to do so. And Im pretty sure most people could do better if that was their full time job.

    as for leaving your email etc im suprised the geezer isnt scared lol

  • Comment number 27.

    I like the contributions by the forest fans on here, Earnshaw and Cole to form a good partnership and gain forest promotion??? I think the best you can hope for is mid table, cole was brilliant but age has caught up with him and Earnshaw is lazy and useless. Derby didnt miss him in the premiership, why would they miss him in the championship? He is a waste of money for forest.

    I think one of the signings of the summer has to be kris commons to derby for free, he looks a class player and did not cost them a penny.

    Another great signing is guy moussi to forest, he looks like he has some game.

  • Comment number 28.

    Yourblogsarerubbish, how sad your lfe must be to have signed up just 2 moan about an article,the fact this blog has created debate confirms it has done its intended job.

  • Comment number 29.

    Gassy84 you are correct my life is sad, but I did find my post enjoyable.

    Plus, I was trying to waste 10 minutes.


    Your Blogs Are Rubbish.

  • Comment number 30.

    "But how many potentially sensational signings have I missed and how many of the ones listed above do you think will make a big impression over the coming months?"

    I saw this as 'comment-about-your-own-club-for-a-minute' which I whole-heartedly obliged to do!

    You cannot expect Paul to look over EVERY transfer and research EVERY player to see the potential can you really?

  • Comment number 31.

    i think also mclaren will be signing of the summer in league 2
    holt?he has not proved himself at notts forest and obviously dose not believe in himself by going from a championship club to an average league 2 club

    boulding another great capture he has proved himself with a total of 25 goals in this league last season

    and lee former doncaster captain

    arnison a good strong right back with a lot of experience of league 1 and play offs

    add all of that with daley and colbeck running defenders ragged and another graet striker wiv peter thorne

    we are going up so we are going up!!!

  • Comment number 32.

    As a Torquay United fan i am going to comment on the moves of three of our EX players, to football league clubs, over the summer.

    First - Alex Russell - Bristol City to Cheltenham - Simply the greatest midfielder in our recent history and after a fantastic loan spell with them last season, i believe he has already become a favourite at Cheltenham. Apparently, they fought off competition from MK Dons for his signiture so good luck to them and well done for securing such a grest player.

    Second - The one player we may well miss from last season is Chris Zebroski who has joined Wycombe for 20,000, after a loan spell here, from Millwall. He had his off days but, at times, was a class apart in the blue square premier. He has pace, great skill, he rarely gives the ball away, scores goals and he can get back and defend well. If he can continue to develop, he may well become a leading winger in League two or higher.

    Finally, David Graham, who was prolific when Russell was feeding him, in league two for us afew years back. After a fantastic spell here he moved to Wigan, his goalscoring faultered for a while but now he is back in league two with Lincoln. If he can find his feet and rediscover his ability to score he could be one of the most prolific strikers in league two this season.

  • Comment number 33.

    Daniel Parejo to QPR
    Lee Cook to QPR
    Kevin Phillips to Birmingham

  • Comment number 34.

    Surely Sam Vokes from Bournemouth to Wolves has got to be a major coup, signing him from under the noses of the old firm teams, Villa and Newcastle!

    Not many people would have seen him play but he will suprise a lot of people this season, same impact as Kightly had when nobody had heard of him, now he is one of the best champtionship players!

  • Comment number 35.

    I think the best bit of business this summer has been done by wolves. Holding onto Hennessey, Kightly and Ebanks-Blake with many premiership clubs after them will be key to out promotion push this year. I worry that this time next year, if we fail to go up this year, i will be bemoaning the loss of three championship stars!!!

  • Comment number 36.

    Cook - QPR
    Maynard - Bristol City
    Lupoli - Norwich

    Hobbs - Leicester
    Becchio - Leeds
    Hooper - Scunthorpe

    Collins - Port Vale
    Holt - Shrewsbury
    M Boulding - Bradford

  • Comment number 37.

    You missed out how well Luciano Becchio actually played with Merida last season, scoring an average of a goal every 1.8 games.

  • Comment number 38.

    Chris Eagles to Burnley from Man Utd has to be a tremendous signing.

  • Comment number 39.

    Sammy Clingan

  • Comment number 40.

    Wes Hoolahan

  • Comment number 41.

    Best signing in the Football League? Methinks it will be the next one - David Unsworth to Huddersfield.

  • Comment number 42.

    A few that haven't been mentioned.

    PNE's signing of Ross Wallace looks a good one.

    My team Burnley have made some terrific additions. Remco van der Schaaf is the tough tackling midfielder we've been missing and we've signed an extremely talented young midfielder from Dundee called Kevin McDonald who as well as being a good footballer is built like a brick outhouse. Our new keeper Diego Penny has looked like an inspired signing in pre season as well.

  • Comment number 43.

    Morgan Sneiderlin for Southampton will be quality.

    P.S your blogs are gash.

  • Comment number 44.

    Nick Carle to Palace quality bit of business...

    if u dont like the article y waste your time complaining bout it? get a life... LOSERS!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 45.

    "Agree with the other comments that the article throws up predictable names and not a lot of proper research. Sorry Paul..."

    what a really stupid comment, on many levels.

  • Comment number 46.

    i agree pinnicleoofffruit some people are far 2 simple their bordering on dangerous!

    he cant write bout a transfer for every club so use the blo 2 leave yr opinions on the question - best signing? not on the article!!!

  • Comment number 47.

    Well said OlympiqueDijonnaise, I think there's far too many people in here that do not know the meaning of "insight" or "debate"...

    Anyhow, looking at the Premiership, Zoltan Gera's free transfer to Fulham looks an absolute bargain for them, fitting in a gap that Gera will fill very easily.

    Secondly I think Kris Commons will be a valuable signing for Derby, if Derby gain promotion, I've always wanted to see how he'd play in the Premiership, because he's more then capable of making the step up.

    I've seen Chelsea youth player Shaun Cummings has signed for MK Dons on a loan basis- he's one to watch, as I've seen him play in several different positions in youth team games. Still on Chelsea, ex-Gills' Ryan Bertrand will hopefully shine for Norwich whilst on loan too, he's very pacey and has a lot of energy.

    Finally, got to mention my local team Ebbsfleet, who have signed Michael Gash from Cambridge City, he's 21, and a proven goalscorer, 27 goals in under 30 games says it all. The money for his capture was raised by fans and owners 'MyFootballClub'.

  • Comment number 48.

    whao! Why is everyone having a crack at this chap for writting this article, he is only throwing a few names out there and people who havent seen their team mention cry.

    Chill out people, dont have a go at the author, write some constructive comments...

    In my opinion one the most interesting signings could be Sam Volkes to Wovles from the might B'Mouth...young Welsh striker...

  • Comment number 49.

    pete thompson from LOI Linfield - 44 goals last season and 7 NI caps and Carl Baker from Morcombe. Arrived at Edgely Park for around £375,000 big big money for club like Stockport county. Both attacking players, Thompson striker and Baker attacking Midfielder.

  • Comment number 50.

    14. At 2:36pm on 04 Aug 2008, ArkleSwanspanyol (Swanspanyol 606 Super Keeper) wrote:

    nice to see you never mentioned any of the swansea signings


    To be fair, the majority of our signings have absolutely no form at this level to be judged by so how could he mention them?

    Besides our best and most important signing is the re-signing of Ferri Bodde. Along with Pratley (possibly Scotland and De Vries) he is one of the few players we have who is almost certainly going to be good enough to pay in the Premiership sometime over the next few years.

  • Comment number 51.

    I know I'm biased, but the following stand out, for all the right reasons:

    1. Radek Cerny from Spurs to QPR. Proven Premiership-level 'keeper.

    2. Daniel Parejo from Real Madrid to QPR. From REAL MADRID, FFS!

    3. Lee Cook from Fulham to QPR. Great to have him back.

    Outside of QPR, I reckon

    1. Kevin Phillips to Birmingham. Wish we could have got him.

    2. Wes Hoolahan stands out because it's a bad bit of business for Blackpool, and they know it.

  • Comment number 52.

    Guy Moussi has been very impressive for Forest in pre season.

  • Comment number 53.


  • Comment number 54.

    The best signing of the summer was Morgan Schneiderlin by Southampton from RC Strasbourg. Will undoubtedly be called "the new Vieira" at some stage during the season by someone in the media who will tout him for a premiership move. 19, reads the game, hard as nails, sees passes and can deliver with both feet, can hit a dead ball and comes recommended by the man that took the Saints U18 to FA Cup final and League glory (Walcott, Bale, Best, Blackstock, Crainie etc).

    Ask Scott Parker :)

  • Comment number 55.

    Potentially, I think Birmingham have done very well; Kevin Phillips is a great acquisition, and is proven at many levels. It is a wonder to me as to why Tony Mowbray let him go last season, because old as he is, i think he could still do a decent job in a lower premiership side, like West Brom. I expect him to galvanize Birmingham's promotion, if not through goals, then through experience, which can often be under - rated. In addition to this, Lee Carsley's contribution to the Everton midfield was often overlooked last season, and the role he played in their march up the table was significant. With bags of experience at all levels, he could be a quality signing for the blues.

    Norwich have made a couple of decent signings as well, such as Arturo Lupoli, whom we know excelled in the Championship last time round, with Derby, and could spark a surprise push for the Play - offs. Along with the ability up front, Roeder has brought in a degree of stability with Stefanovic, however it is easy to think that he may not live up to standards.

    I agree when someone says that Radek Cerny is a decent signing for QPR. A decent goalkeeper at Spurs last season, he was liked by all and showed surprising quality when in between the sticks, a stark contrast to the slated Paul Robinson, who, whether through not being able to cope with pressure, or general ineptitude, was replaced by Cerny numerous times in the season. Expect Radek to perform well for Rangers.


  • Comment number 56.

    I agree with the people who say Kevin Phillips will do a good job. There will be a blog later in the week that you might be interested in about the prospects for Derby, Birmingham and Reading.

    I'll be keeping an eye out for Paul McLaren at Bradford, Guy Moussi at Forest, Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin and Sam Vokes at Wolves, QPR in general and several other interesting names that have cropped up. Thanks.

  • Comment number 57.

    I think Albrechtsen for Derby looks to have been a good buy.

  • Comment number 58.

    Wes Hoolahan from Blackpool to Norwich - he'll have Lupoli to aim at up front as well, could be devastating.

  • Comment number 59.

    Paul Green for Derby will become the new Jimmy Bullard, and Commons will do brilliant as well.

    For other clubs Lupoli for Norwich should be a good signing if he has bulked up a bit and Hoolahan for Norwich is also a good signing.

  • Comment number 60.

    I believe that The Pigeon Fancier's Gazette is looking for new writers. Hope this helps.

  • Comment number 61.

    I think hoolihan to Norwich is a great bargain!! Wolves were looking at him last summer and then again during January, i think weve missed a gem!!

    However, on the other hand, i do think we have a bargain in signing Chris Iwelumo and Richard Stearman on a free. Have watched Wolves a few times during pre season and these pair are potentially massive players for us this year.

    Stearman has big boots to follow in Gary Breen, however, Breeny was not really that present during the middle to latter parts of the season and was beginning to become a slight liability. Am soooooooooo chuffed that Wolves managed to tie down Kightly to a long term contract and lets hope it means just that (LONG TERM!!!) Also glad to see Hennessey staying and being given the Number 1 shirt for the new season. It will be interesting to see if Murray can get fit and put a little bit of pressure on the young welsh man to see how he goes.

    I think that Daniel Jones could be a big player for Wolves this year too. He is creative, young and can put some quality passes together, he looked quite good for Derby last year but for some reason, Jewell just didnt like the look of him.

    Think thats enough said for now!! In my honest opinion, here are my three for promotion in order of finishing (so 1st, 2nd play off winners)

    1 - Birmingham
    2 - Reading
    3 - Wolves.

    Any comments???

    Good luck to all footy supporters for the new season, i have my season ticket and personally CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 62.

    wot about shrewsbury town our manager paul simpson has done great in the transfer window by signing grant holt shane shiff stephen hindmarch paul murray richard walker luke daniels and micheal jackson so shrewsbury 4 promotion

  • Comment number 63.

    48. At 4:48pm on 04 Aug 2008, bullyfurlong wrote:
    whao! Why is everyone having a crack at this chap for writting this article, he is only throwing a few names out there and people who havent seen their team mention cry.
    excellent post,

    kevin phillips and nick carle look to be the signings of the summer for me, and sam vokes could be a suprise package.

    guy moussi could be a gem for us.

    my prediction is 1st birmingham, 2nd sheffield united, 3rd crystal palace

  • Comment number 64.

    Im not a fan of Peterborough but there is no mention of summer signing. Sergio Torres. He was Wycombe best player when he was there. Peterborough have done well to sign a quality player like that and he has not been even mentioned.

    Not good at all Paul

  • Comment number 65.

    can't believe not one of brentofrds signings were even mentioned..... Adam Newton from peterbrough an absolute class act. Marcus Bean from blackpool...fantastic signing. and possibly Ian Pearce from Fulham!

  • Comment number 66.

    Guy Moussi at Nottingham Forest is a proper player. Earnie's been a revalation I hear in the actual build up to getting goals and training of the front line with Andrew Cole.

    The writer states above he doesn't know much about ALL the transfers. Well a few would be good. Even just a knowledge of football would be a start.

    The league we have just got out of is much different to this one, and maybe harder. Keep an eye on Forest, Swansea and Doncaster. We didn't get promoted because we turned up.

  • Comment number 67.

    The only thing Jewell knows how to get the best out of is a viewcam.

  • Comment number 68.

    I don't understand the people who are sticking the boot into Paul for writing this. If it was as comprehensive as some of you seem to want, it'd run to tens of thousands of words.

    Anyway, back to the football:

    I'm shaking with the anticipation of the new season. As a Forest fan, being out of League One is such a relief. I'm of the opinion that a season in midtable obscurity will do us nicely.

    The younger players will get older and gain more experience, we'll establish ourselves back in the second tier again and hopefully make more signings, before making a run at the playoffs in 09/10.

    From what I've seen of us, Guy Moussi looks like a real dark horse for signing of the season.

    I fully expect the names of Lewis McGugan, Garath McCleary and Kelvin Wilson to feature to become household names in any home with a particular penchant for Championship football.

    Of the competition, I fancy Reading to win the league. They have kept most of their players, who were the unfortunate victims of Fulham's fairytale. Birmingham, too, will go strongly.

    Derby are the unknown quantity in the league. Purchasing an entire new side could either go really well, or hopefully absolutely appallingly. Morale could be a big problem and if Jewell doesn't win in his first few games then questions will be asked about his management.

    I reckon Reading to win the league, Birmingham second and Ipswich up via the play-offs.

    Relegated teams to include Blackpool, Barnsley and Preston.



  • Comment number 69.

    Bit harsh criticism on ole Paul ere guys..

    ah wel, my suggestions 4 gr8 signings are
    JORDI GOMEZ - SWANSEA, made 1st team appearances 4 Barca last yr and turned down Serie A teams 2 join the Swans.
    GORKA PINTADO - SWANSEA, scored hat-tricks in first 2 games of pre-season, n is built like a bull so has physical attrbuted needed for this league as well as goals.
    DANIEL PAREJO - QPR, this guy looks like a future superstar n cud make a significant impact in the championship this season after attracting interest from clubs like Arsenal, n evry1 knows how gd they r at spotting a gd youngster!
    GUY MOUSSI - FOREST, from what i've heard from Forest fans, this guy looks like the real deal and could prove 2 b a major coup this season!

    BBC, note this, and come bk 2 me at the end of the season when these 4 prove me right, n let me write the blog next yr xD

  • Comment number 70.

    i think this is a decent article. he has tried.
    rob hulse has got to be one of the signings of the summer
    from my club, lee holmes from derby is a player with so much potential.
    and qpr's new loan signing looks very exciting

  • Comment number 71.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 72.

    I think one of the best League Two signings could be of Stephen Dawson from Mansfield to Bury on a free (I think it was a free...), he's a solid central midfielder and will give us plenty of bite in the centre of the park. And Leicester have got themselves a bargain after signing Nicky Adams from us. He needs to mature a bit but he's got similar potential to another of our old boys David Nugent.

  • Comment number 73.

    I know its because the BBC have the rights to the football league but it is nice to see more about the lower divisions.

    Kris Commons is unfortunately not as good a signing as some derby fans are hoping for, he only had an impact one game out of four maximum for Forest - and that was in league one.

    On the plus side, Rob Earnshaw and Kevin Phillips are proven at this level, Norwich appear to have made some OK signings, and QPR some exciting ones.

    I've seen very few mentions of defenders on here as well. They're never star signings but are just as important.

  • Comment number 74.

    Surprised you missed out Forest !!! Earnshaw and Moussi will be outstanding this season.Both excellent buys and of course Garner when fit will sort a few defences out,and of course Andrew Cole who has already proved a big hit in the dressing room. Our odds were and still are ridiculous, so put your money on Forest for promotion now...10 to 1

  • Comment number 75.

    To Paul, Your blog,I'm sure has done just what you intended. The comments regarding best signings have been very interesting putting forward names virtually unknown me ..and making the coming season more interesting . Well done ! Alan

  • Comment number 76.

    Unfortunately, a well constructed article appears to have been hijacked by the type of people who ruined 606 for me. The article invites people to make their suggestions, the author is at pains to point out it is, in no way, a definitive list. A point emphasised in a subsquent post.
    Meanwhile, to place my hand softly in the small of it's back and gently steer this blog back to the subject....

    ...Lee Carsley at Birmingham or Kevin Nicholls at Luton.. Birmingham have enough quality to make a decent go at promotion, possibly even as Champions. Luton, with all their well documented recent problems, will need a bit of a miracle season just to tread water, Nicholls will help, especially with his affinity for the club.

    I honestly cannot make any other worthwhile suggestions, and, before the 606ers spit their dummies out, I follow a Championship club.

    Anyway, best of luck to everyone for Saturday, enjoy your seasons all.

  • Comment number 77.

    are we talking just championship football here? cos i dont see no premiership level transfers on your blog paul. i live in nigeria and all we see is the premiership.

  • Comment number 78.

    Good article - shame so many comments seem to have been made without reading it first !!

    No Mention of Kevin Phillips to Brum ? - Got to be good business on a free.

    Kris Commons looks to be an excellent aquisition for Derby. Gives us the quality on the left we haven't had for ages.

  • Comment number 79.

    Whichdoktar, Paul's talking about the Football League, which is Championship and Leagues One and Two.

  • Comment number 80.

    Being a Forest fan I have seen Moussi in pre-season and I am mightily impressed, nice touch, good physical presence, and excellent, simple passing.

    Not sure about your comments about Hulse and Ellington though, both had poor seasons last year. Commons will definitely grab a few headlines for Derby, but is too inconsistent.

    I expect Grant Holt to score for fun in League 2 with Shrewsbury.

    From what I saw last year I would expect Westwood to earn a few plaudits at Coventry too, he looked an excellent keeper when we played Carlisle

  • Comment number 81.

    I have been reading stuff like this for the last month or so and the majority show a distinct lack of knowledge in terms of what has actually happened on the transfer scene in the lower divisions. (in particular division 2)

    No mention of Bradford, do McClaren, Boulding, Lee etc not deserve a mention. Many of the other teams including the likes of Chesterfield, Grimsby and Wycombe have all made some excellent signings.

    The News of the World predicted Bradford to win the league with Boulding being the star man, i doubt whether the journalist actually considered the potential impact of Thorne, Colbeck or McClaren.

    Basically you could right an article like this in 20 seconds looking at teletext.

    Bored of the Premiership yawn zzzzzzzzzz

  • Comment number 82.

    Having seen Wolves batter Blackburn 4-2 at the weekend, I am optomistic for the new season.

    Ebanks-Blake and Keogh may rival your chosen strike force of Ellington and Hulse!

    I think the signing of the season from what I saw on Saturday has to be Richard Stearman. Wolves picked him up for a nominal fee from Leicester and he looked excellent at the heart of the defence.

  • Comment number 83.

    How about Peter Taylor at Wycombe?
    Everyone is talking about players, but for me the signing of him as Wycombe's new manager could be one of the best of the summmer. Proven track record at getting clubs promoted, roll on league 1!

  • Comment number 84.

    peter thompson of stockport looks the steal of the summer for me.

  • Comment number 85.

    John Kennedy to norwich will be the best signing by a country mile...if he can stay injury free

  • Comment number 86.

    Can't believe how many childish idiots have posted! All the writer was doing was highlighting a few transfers that caught his eye! The whole point was to get your suggestions on who has impressed in pre-season at your club!

    Of course there is going to be more coverage of the Championship, after all it is the highest league in the Football League pyramid, a feeder to the Premiership and contains better players (with some exceptions of course).

    There are 72 clubs, did you really expect him to mention a transfer from everyone? To throw your toys out of the pram because your non-entity of a team hasn't been mentioned is ridiculous. We're all going to think our club has signed the best players as we know little about other teams

    People just love to criticise

    Personally, I'd say Carsley and Phillips are top signings - some people are crowing about people turning down League 1 clubs for League 2 clubs, but Carsley turned down a UEFA Cup club for a Championship club and Phillips a Premiership club. Also, Lee Cook is a top signing for QPR, and David Vaughan for Blackpool.

    And finally a comment on my own club - as said, if Kris Commons motivates himself he could be the best player in the division

  • Comment number 87.

    Shrewsbury's signing of Holt and Walker will make them the team to beat unfortunately. As for us down here at Gillingham we've been quiet although signing Mark McCammon from Donny could be the spark we need. Unlike Donny we'll play him in the centre for Simeon Jackson to feed off and this will, hopefully, provide Jackson the service and space to make a big impact.

  • Comment number 88.

    Nice to see that Barnsley have shelled out over a million pounds for the first time in over 5 years and it doesn't even get a mention

  • Comment number 89.

    What I find absolutely hillarious about all these comments is that 'nearly' everyone is moaning about the article. Don't read the thing then people if you don't like it, I don't like cricket, so guess what...I don't read articles about it.....

  • Comment number 90.

    Three names that could make a huge impact, all of whom have been mentioned higher up the page.

    Michael Gash (Cambridge City to Ebbsfleet) - £20,000 for a player who scored 27 goals in 29 games last year is a very shrewd bit of business. The fact that the club record signing for Ebbsfleet was paid for by MyFootballClub members means that it's a no-risk move. Confidence is high after winning the FA Trophy, and with Liam Daish in charge and Gash partnering the dangerous Akinde up front, this could be the year that Ebbsfleet get that first ever promotion to the FL.

    Sergio Torres (Wycombe to Peterborough) - the fan's favourite at Adams Park was something of a surprise departure, although given his injury record and the fee involved, Wycombe had little choice but to accept. Peterborough played some sensational quick passing football in L2 last year, and if Serg can stay injury free, he can provide all the ammunition that McLean, Mackail-Smith and Boyd need to fire Posh to a second consecutive promotion.

    Chris Zebroski (Millwall to Wycombe) - Wycombe moved swiftly to replace Torres with the pacy 21 year old Chris Zebroski. The winger/striker spent last year on loan at Torquay and scored 19 goals in the BSP. After the disappointment of three consecutive failures to seal promotion, new boss Peter Taylor will be expected to take Wycombe back up to L1 in his first year in charge. Zebroski could be the key to success at Adams Park (check him out on Sky on 13th August when Wycombe look to upset Birmingham in the Carling Cup 1st Round)

  • Comment number 91.

    I'm an Oldham fan so only really know about what's been going on at Boundary Park. Noticed that Kieran Lee was mentioned in the article, he's been injured preseason, but could be a good prospect for us. I think a potentially great signing for us is a young striker, Chris O'Grady, he looks strong and could be a gem this year. Can't wait for Saturday!

  • Comment number 92.

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news Oldham fans but we had Kieran Lee down at Loftus Road last year and although he rarely made the starting eleven, he did nothing to say he had anything to offer us, either at right-back or in midfield. Very small in stature and weight, his passing and awareness did not make up for his physical disadvantages.

    Back to the question, I think loads of teams have done good business in the Championship and therefore, Reading, Birmingham, Derby, Forest, Wolves, Bristol City, Norwich, Ipswich and Rangers should be in with a shout for promotion.

    At the Loft, the signings of Lee Cook, Kaspars Gorkss and Dani Parejo from Real have got us all very excited, although the team is still crying out for a proven goalscorer.

  • Comment number 93.

    Chester probably won't be doing any pulling up of trees this season.

    But have made a few (relatively) exciting signings.

    Midfield pair Anthony Barry (Yeovil) and Damien Mozika (Nancy) and striker, Paul Taylor (prelimary loan from Vauxhall Motors) have caught the imagination.

    Keep an eye out if you get a chance, plus you'll have the bonus of watching your team win.

  • Comment number 94.

    ive been to quite a few derby pre season matches and Nathan Ellington seems to have a sweet touch and good ball control and under jewell will be a great signing, kris commons movement around the wings were somthing special and look promising.
    Arturo Lupoli will be an amzing signing for norich as when he was a derby he didnt have chance 2 play to his full potential but when he did he created goals. would of loved to see him back at derby.
    Carsley will be a great signing for birmingham but not sure about cole for forest i do not think he will b anything special.

    its safe to say its impossible to pick the top 3 clubs to get promoted too many clubs in contention, Birmingham, QPR, Reading, Derby, Wolves, Crystal Palace, Sheff Utd. then you got your outsiders, Charlton, Nottm Forest, Watford, Ipswich.
    i think the top 8 places are going to be tighter than ever and a very good league to watch and be part of..... carnt wait...

  • Comment number 95.

    Ellington: pacy and athletic????


  • Comment number 96.

    They've been mentioned in others but they're worth mentioning again, Boulding, McLaren, Lee at Bradford City! All cost nowt and all are will make a huge impact in League 2.
    Boulding 25+ goals for a team that was relegated, McLaren top man for assists in League 1 last term, Lee a proven class performer and captain at this and higher levels.

    Other good signings look like Darren Moore at Barnsley, and Eagles at Burnley.

    4 days to go...

  • Comment number 97.

    Working in Carlisle I kind of know a bit about Carlisle players (or more importantly for this discussion, ex Carlisle players) and Keiren Westwood to Coventry could be one of the best buys of the summer. He was amazing last season, earinng a call-up to the Republic of Ireland squad and attracting interest from one or two Premiership clubs. He should be just as good, if not better, at Coventry as he continues his development and I wouldn't actually be surprised to see him playing in the Premiership in a year or two's time.

    Joe Garner to Forest is also an intriguing buy but at £1.14 million isn't exactly a snip.

    Someone mentioned Ross McCormack earlier. As a Gretna fan I got to see McCormack a few times last season and he looks a terrific buy, especially as he turned down a move to Middlesbrough in January. He was in great form last season and looks a better player than he was at Rangers (where incidently he scored in the Champions League).

  • Comment number 98.

    'Best Signing of the summer' was always going to be a subjective topic. I think Paul has captured the essence of the non Premiership signings reasoably well for those players moving into the suset of their careers

    Unfortunately there are few up and coming players in the list. These are the players that can make the difference both to performance, and ultimately to the finances if transferred from lower league clubs trying to survive.

    Unless the Premiership looks closely to how they redistribute the wealth, their feed of young talent will dry up.

    As a Preston fan, I note that Ade suggest we will be one of the relegated teams. Judging from last season and the lack of activity in the transfer market during the summer, I am sorry to say that I agree with him.

  • Comment number 99.

    Great blog, i love it

    Surely one of the best signings of the summer go to QPR with the signing of REAL MADRID'S rising star Dani Pareja seen by the big papers in spain as the next big star to come off the madrid production line following the likes of Raul,Casillas.

  • Comment number 100.

    I suppose Paul Fletcher's inital blog was a good conversation starter if nothing else...

    Comments below are excellent. Being non-partisan about it, I reckon the pick of the recommendations above are:

    - Kieran Westwood: great keeper now at Coventry.

    - Ashley Williams: superb young developing centrehalf at Swansea. Stockport player of the year and captain.

    - Sergo Torres at Peterborough. Very skilful and will flourish in a better team than Wycombe.

    - Peter Thompson at Stockport signed from NI club Linfield is going to score goals for fun in Div 1 given the creative players in the rest of the Stockport side

    - Not sure if this guy has been mentioned yet, but David Perkins who moved from Rochdale to Colchester at the end of the seaon is a superb midfielder. I think is albino so league 1 fans will know who I'm talking about when you play the Us.

    Oh, and I suspect everyone QPR has bought (and paid big wages to) is probably pretty good as well...


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