Last season’s 19th-placed finish in the Championship may have left Huddersfield Town fans worrying about the drop ahead of this summer’s transfer window, but David Wagner’s recent acquisitions have been arguably the finest in the division – and turned the squad into genuine promotion contenders.
Indeed, the Terriers have strengthened in virtually every area of the pitch, while retaining the services of prolific hitman Nahki Wells – so far, at least. So, who are the new arrivals in West Yorkshire, and what do they offer?
Goalkeeper Danny Ward arrives on loan from Liverpool, following an excellent season at Ladbrokes Premiership outfit Aberdeen, where he chalked up 12 clean sheets in 28 outings.
And – one for trivia fans, he was the man in net for Wales as they recorded their first ever Euros victory over Slovakia in France this summer.
Wagner’s defensive ranks have also been boosted by two arrivals from his native Germany.
Club-record £1.8m signing Christopher Schindler joined from 1860 Munich, while Chris Lowe – who played for Wagner’s former club Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga and Champions League – enters English football after three excellent seasons with 1. FC Kaiserslautern.
However, it’s in midfield where the Terriers have made the most impressive acquisitions. Australian international Aaron Mooy joins on loan from Man City after a superb campaign in A-League for Melbourne City last time out, netting 11 goals and producing 10 assists.
He’s joined by Ivan Paurevic, a man who built a reputation as one of Russian football’s most robust and imposing midfielders while at top-flight outfit FC Ufa. And he’s a man for the big occasion, scoring twice on the final day for Gorozhane last season, to help them avoid the drop by a single point.
But Wagner has also smartly added a pair of men with experience of English football, with prolific midfielder Jack Payne – who netted nine times in League One last year – acquired from Southend United, while Rajiv van La Parra has signed on permanently after an impressive loan spell at the John Smith’s Stadium last season.
That array of talent means little stock should be put in last season’s modest placing, with the 18/1 for the Terriers to win automatic promotion a very tempting price indeed, while the 4/1 on the West Yorkshire outfit securing a top-six spot could also be full of value.
Huddersfield begin the campaign at home to Brentford, with 13/10 for the ‘Wagner Revolution’ to set off with three points against the Bees.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing