Latest Transfer News: Huddersfield Town
Huddersfield Town's first season in the Premier League has come to a miraculous end. It was going to be clear that David Wagner will have his hands full during the summer. Beefing up the squad for the new challenges that comes ahead during the 2018/19 season will be a daunting task. I don't expect the team to be flying high like they did in the last one. Every team that we face will definitely bring their best game and we have shown them, Town is not a team you can things for granted.
First order was of course to turn loan signings into permanent ones.
Jonas Lössl was definitely one of our best inclusion last season and proven what a top class keeper he can be. Though not the best safe hands you can count but he made up a lot making crucial saves at the right time. Besides, whatever he did for Town last season has earned a spot on Denmark's World Cup spot. That says a lot about how much he gives for the team.
With that business concluded, the focus now shifts towards Terence Kongolo. There is no question bringing him in January was one of the best deal by Wagner. His presence at has rejuvenated the defense and bring a lot of improvement in left back compared to Scott Malone. I recall hearing a lot about him from my Dutch supporting friends as he was in the Clockwork Orange squad in 2014. Been said he is one for the future for the Netherlands team.
While things didn't work out for him in Monaco, spending most of the time on the bench. But at Huddersfield under Wagner, he's been a different beast altogether. Was fundamentally an important player on the day when Town stifle Pep Guardiola's City at the Etihad. That left leg stretched he made on Leroy Sane was a sensational tackle, denying the German from making an attempt in attack. Now that he has got a permanent deal, here's hoping that he keeps up his good form and maybe a return to the Dutch national team could be just around the corner.
If there is one thing learn from the Kongolo deal is that Wagner is always keen to revive the fortune of young players. The type of players who had big potential where they were young but somewhere have drifted to a different path as their career progress.
If Kongolo was a head up in left back and so was Florent Hadergjonaj on the right. At first, he brought in as a back up for team's leader Tommy Smith but the Swiss player blossomed as the season progressed. A tractor on the field, constant threat on the right. He is more than deserving with a permanent contract for his proving his worth in the Premier League.
As the everyone was tuning to the World Cup, Wagner and his coaching staff have been working in the background in securing another deal. Ramadan Sobhi, spent the last two seasons at Stoke City and there were some mixed reviews about his performance. Despite of his early promise his first season, he didn't had similar follow up last season. It wasn't that long he found himself out of favour. A move away became imminent following the Potters relegation.
In a need to address issues on the flanks, Wagner felt in Sobhi he has the perfect player. Sobhi is well known for his dribbling combining with clinical passing and vision when going forward. Despite of what has happen to him at Stoke, lets not forget that he is still 21 years old.
I do feel that with Wagner's guidance and the right coaching, the real Sobhi that everyone has raved about before his arrival in England will stand up. Remember, there was a time when Arsenal and Roma were keen to grab his signature. That says a lot about him. I do hope he can be an upgrade to the likes of Rajiv van La Parra. Though he did a commendable job last season but often unable to make the those final passes or crosses have left me frustrated at times.
Next up, Huddersfield Town announced the signing of another Dutchman, Juninho Bacuna from FC Gronigen. A friend of mine said his game play reminds him of Edgar Davids. My first reaction was wow. Not sure it's a far stretch but I will take it as a positive remark.
Juninho is describe as a combative box to box midfielder. He can be tenacious and hardworking when defending but also is a visionary and provide creativity when on the offense. His all rounder ability makes him a great option for Wagner in the middle. At the moment, Wagner can only count on Aaron Mooy and Jonathan Hogg. But as we have seen from last season, consistency has been a problem from both players. Having someone like Juninho on board is a welcome addition.
But Wagner will also has his hand full in containing the Bacuna's tempers and aggression. As they say, wisdom doesn't blend well with youth. Bacuna is a perfect epitome of that statement. In a space of one season, he has received his marching orders three times. While he has improved on his discipline last season, the ever demanding of the English game might just get into Bacuna's head. Wagner will need to ensure that his new signing does keep himself in check.
Another aspect that we need to focus on Wagner's transfer policy is player's versatility. Though we could say that both Hadergjonaj and Kongolo are established full backs now. Nevertheless, Wagner has ensure that there is room for competition. This provided if the addition could come in handy in more than one position.
Four years ago, Huddersfield Town had no player participating in the World Cup. By the time Russia kicked off with Saudi Arabia, we had four Terriers in the tournament. If anyone had told me this in 2014, I might send them to a mental institution.
Now imagine this? Four years later the club signs a World Cup winner!
Erik Durm might have been a squad player when Mario Goetze broke my heart with his winning goal in extra time. But for him to earn a place in Joachim Low's squad says a lot about what the player's potential was four years ago.
Durm is a player that Wagner knows very well from his time working with Borussia Dortmund II. It was Wagner who brought him from Mainz and develop to him to the player that he is today. His career was fairly progressing until a series of injury kept him for the most part of last season. Now he is looking for a chance to revive himself, where better than at Huddersfield with a chance to reunite with his former mentor.
Durm's ability to play at full back and as a winger on either end is a huge asset. Though it is very likely that Wagner will pit Durm and Hadergjonaj to compete for the right back role where he can be at his best. And when needed, Wagner can also deploy him into a wing-back role whenever necessary. Durm is a complete package thanks to his great physical attributes and enormous energy due to his stamina and speed.
Again, the fact that we have brought in a World Cup winner says a lot just about how far the club has come in a space of four years. It's a good feeling during the tournament we've been linked with from Ahmed Musa to Adama Traore.
So what's next for Huddersfield Town?
I do feel that our summer business is far from over. There are some other areas that needs some addressing. A midfielder with a thirst for creativity is something that I would like the club to look into. At the moment, we're very much depending on Alex Pritchard for that role.
I've been told that club is also on the lookout for another striker. Both Steve Mounie and Laurent Depoitre have done reasonably well in their first year. Yet there is still a need for an upgrade. It's hard to say where Wagner will look for this but if the rumours are true, then having an Ahmed Musa will be an absolute joy. But for now it's all purely wishful thinking.
Wagner has demonstrated every season that he would want his transfer activity to completed before the season kicks off. With the new season kicking off just a month away, there is every possibility that there will be more to come.