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Perfect 10 for Ozil and Arsenal

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Sporting Life Accumulator

Midweek Sky Bet EFL action means we have another Sporting Life Accumulator to back, which is enhanced to 16/1 by the EFL title sponsors.

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Sky Bet Championship: Top five transfers in the permanent window

Tom Carnduff looks at his five best transfers of the summer in the Sky Bet Championship
Tom Carnduff looks at his five best transfers of the summer in the Sky Bet Championship

The transfer deadline for permanent signings in the Sky Bet Championship has passed with a number of clubs making significant moves.

Nottingham Forest were the big spenders in this window, with the £15m addition of Benfica youngster Joao Carvalho being the most eye-catching.

Financial Fair Play has taken a grip on previous competitors in this division, with some clubs being restricted to what they can add, and others completely restrained from making additions.

That has left the door open to others to capitalise. The likes of Brentford, Preston and Leeds, who have flirted with the prospect of the play-offs in recent seasons, may look at this season as the opportunity to pounce.

EFL clubs can still make loan signings until 31st August - and most clubs will view this as an extension of the permanent window given the fact they can loan players with the view to signing on a permanent deal in the future.

Tom Carnduff reviews the five 'best' transfers from the Sky Bet Championship in this window.


5) Andy Yiadom (Barnsley - Reading) - Free

Andy Yiadom (right) in action for Reading
Andy Yiadom (right) in action for Reading

Full-backs are always tough areas to strengthen in any squad - but Reading managed to beat plenty of competition to land Andy Yiadom.

Barnsley may have been relegated last season, but Yiadom was a stand-out performer and continued to be linked with a Premier League move throughout the 2017/18 campaign.

The fact that Reading managed to bring Yiadom in on a free makes this one even more impressive.

Yiadom made 64 Championship appearances for the Tykes in total after signing on another free transfer from Barnet in May 2016.

The Ghana international had been set to join Swansea last summer, but a delay in the paperwork prevented a deal from going ahead.

He will be a regular feature for this Reading team, one that we're unsure where they will finish in May, and it'll be little surprise if he is to be linked with another top-flight move as the season progresses.

4) Jack Marriott (Peterborough - Derby) - £5m

Jack Marriott is the subject of interest from a number of clubs
Jack Marriott has made the switch to Derby

Every side desires a prolific goalscorer, and not many topped Jack Marriott in the scoring charts last season as he enjoyed a storming season with Peterborough in Sky Bet League One.

Marriott struck 33 goals in all competitions, in a team that didn't even make the top-six in England's third tier.

The 23-year-old has plenty more years ahead of him, and with a rumoured £5m price tag, it's remarkable that a real bidding war didn't emerge for him during the summer.

Sky Bet: Jack Marriott to be the Sky Bet Championship top goalscorer 2018/19 - 25/1

Matej Vydra may have departed for Burnley, but Derby have a perfect replacement with Marriott more than capable of hitting the same heights as last season.

He isn't just a one season wonder either. The forward scored 28 goals in the two seasons prior to last with Luton Town in League Two, showing that he is someone who knows exactly where the net is.

It may be seen as a gamble given the fact that this is the highest level he will have played at, but given his showings in recent campaigns, there's little doubt that he isn't capable of hitting double figures once again this time around.

3) Lewis Grabban (Bournemouth - Nottingham Forest) - £6m

Lewis Grabban has an attempt on goal saved
Lewis Grabban has an attempt on goal saved

Nottingham Forest have probably had the best transfer business out of any side in the Sky Bet Championship - and they did well to pick up a proven goalscorer at this level for a fee of £6m.

The 30-year-old finished last season as the division's second top goalscorer following loan spells at Sunderland and Aston Villa, his 20-goal tally only bettered by Derby's Vydra.

He also found the net for Reading during a half-season loan spell in 2016/17, alongside striking 12 for Norwich during the 2014/15 campaign.

Sky Bet: Lewis Grabban to be the Sky Bet Championship top goalscorer 2018/19 - 14/1

Despite his age, a £6m price tag for a top-end striker in this division seems low in this market.

We're more accustomed to seeing forwards depart for around the £10m/£15m at this level in recent years - so for Grabban to move for half of that should be considered a great deal.

It's been fairly clear that he was far down Bournemouth's pecking order - but Grabban is the right pick-up for any team with promotion ambitions.

2) Barry Douglas (Wolves - Leeds) - £3m

Barry Douglas in action for Leeds
Barry Douglas moved to Leeds from Wolves

It was no secret heading into this window that Leeds United needed a left-back, and Barry Douglas is the perfect fit for their demands.

The 28-year-old made the switch from Wolves for a fee around the £3m mark, and given his performances last season, Wanderers probably could have got much more for him.

Douglas scored five goals last season - but it was his assists that proved to be the most valuable for Nuno Espirito Santo's side that would go onto win the league.

He notched 14 in that column, more than any other player in the league, and has already got one in Leeds' 3-1 victory over Stoke on opening weekend.

Leeds want to play a high-press system which will see the full-backs heavily involved in attack. For that system, Barry Douglas is the ideal signing.

In all honesty it was a bit of a surprise to see that Wolves didn't want to use him in their Premier League squad - Douglas is a victim of the Molineux transfer policy that can attract talent from around Europe.

Wolves' loss though, is very much Leeds' gain and he should have another great season at this level.

1) Michael Hefele (Huddersfield - Nottingham Forest) - £300k

Nottingham Forest added Michael Hefele on deadline day
Nottingham Forest added Michael Hefele on deadline day

Forest got one done on deadline day, and for the reported price, it is the best bit of business done by a Sky Bet Championship side this summer.

Michael Hefele was a cult hero in Huddersfield as he helped them seal an unlikely promotion to the Premier League, establishing himself as a defender of great standard in this league.

Quite bizarrely, Hefele can also be used effectively up front when required - with David Wagner looking to him when they needed a goal in the latter stages of games.

It worked too - he struck three goals during their successful 2016/17 campaign.

The fact that Forest managed to bring him in for a fee of £300k is remarkable. In this modern transfer market, he is easily worth at least ten times that.

It's unfortunate for him that his debut Premier League season was ruined by injury, making just two league appearances alongside a further four in the cup.

The arrivals of Mathias Jorgensen and Terrence Kongolo, who both occupy the same position on the pitch, seemed to signal an end to his spell at the Terriers - but he is the type of player who can help propel Forest to glory in this division.

If he can stay fit, following those problems last year, then Forest have got themselves an absolute bargain in this window - it remains to be seen what role he will play in Aitor Karanka's side.


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Odds correct as of 1155 BST (10/08/18)

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Most Read Football

Mesut Ozil celebrates1

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Football Tips

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Midweek Sky Bet EFL action means we have another Sporting Life Accumulator to back, which is enhanced to 16/1 by the EFL title sponsors.