Top Four Championship January Signings

February 16, 2017

The Championship is a notoriously tough and tricky domestic league. The situation both at the top and at the bottom changes every week, and so do the fortunes of teams aiming to finish in the playoffs.

The January transfer window is a period when clubs in the Championship are quite busy. After all, this is a great chance for teams to evaluate their deficiencies and needs and address them.

As expected, there were a number of transfers in the Championship in January. Below we have picked five of the best signings in the division last month.

Henri Lansbury (Nottingham Forest to Aston Villa)

Henri Lansbury did not have a great season for Nottingham Forest before his move to Championship rivals Aston Villa in the January transfer window. However, there can be no doubt that Lansbury is one of the best players in the division.

During his time at the City Ground, the 26-year-old midfielder showed what he is capable of. The former Arsenal man does have issues with consistency, but if played to his strengthens, then he could prove to be very important player for Villa.

Chuba Akpom (Arsenal to Brighton & Hove Albion, loan)

Chuba Akpom is a very talented and promising young striker, and he could prove to be shrewd for Brighton & Hove Albion for the second half of the season. Akpom has joined the Seagulls on loan, and the 21-year-old will be looking to make an immediate impact.

The youngster has experience of playing in the Premier League, and this will come in handy in the coming weeks and months as the Seagulls aim to clinch one of the two automatic promotion spots. Brighton are among the favourites to get automatic promotion according to championship betting odds, and the youngster’s presence in the team is only going to be beneficial to manager Chris Hughton.

The loan deal is also going to be important for Akpom. It will help him develop into a better player, especially as the Championship is much more ‘rough and tough’ than the Premier League.

Jordan Rhodes (Middlesbrough to Sheffield Wednesday, loan)

Jordan Rhodes may have struggled to make an impact for Middlesbrough in the Premier League this season, but he should prove to a big signing for Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship. Rhodes, who has moved to Wednesday on a loan deal, knows the division inside out, and his goals could help the Owls cement their place in the top six.
Rhodes scored 10 goals in 25 Championship appearances for Blackburn last season before finding the net six times in 17 league games for Middlesbrough following his move in January 2016.

Ross McCormack (Aston Villa to Nottingham Forest, loan)

Forget Ross McCormack’s struggles with his electric gate, he is the real deal in the Championship. McCormack may have fallen out of favour at Aston Villa, but Forest have signed a superb player. The 30-year-old former Leeds United and Rangers striker would be looking to score the goals needed to push the Reds into the top half of the table.
McCormack was able to score just three goals for Villa this season before his loan move to Forest in January. It is clear that the Scotland international striker needs to do better, and one suspects that he will be looking to step up his game and prove his detractors wrong during his time at Villa Park.

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Championship Top Goalscorer Betting Tips

July 31, 2013

The new Championship campaign will start this weekend and it promises to be once again an incredibly competitive and engrossing affair with a number of teams ready to contend the top positions. Considering that this is one of the most unpredictable leagues in the football world why not try to take advantage of some cracking ante-post prices. To get some help with this task we have asked some betting tips for this market to the Head of Content at, John Pentin.

“Looking at the stats since the inception of the Championship back in 2004/05 all the winners have been English so I believe we will have the same trend also the year although we may want to look somewhere else as last season’s top striker, Glenn Murray, has had a huge injury which could rule him out until next year.

There has been many football betting tips and Bookmakers making Jordan Rhodes the 8/1 favourite for this market. This is not surprising as Blackburn Rovers’ striker has been in fantastic form last season and only finished one goal adrift Murray. If you think that Rhodes previously won the League One Golden Boot in 2011/12 it is totally understandable that bookmakers are going in that direction. Having said that I believe that it will be difficult for this lethal Scot to repeat the performance of the last campaign and although he will surely pass the 15 mark I don’t see him reaching the same level of last season.

Adam Le Fondre from Reading can be backed at 12/1 and the reason why he is the second favorite is because he finished the campaign as Reading’s top goalscorer. There is no doubt that under Nigel Adkins he will play a major role at the Madejski Stadium this season however the odds are is slightly too short for him.

My suggestion for this market is to bet on a slightly outsider which is Charlie Austin from Burnley. You can get 16/1 that he will become the top Championship goalscorer and this looks a solid price to me. Austin was third in the running last season with 25 goals and the reason why the price is quite long is because during the summer he has been linked with a number of clubs which are not in the Championship. However recently he has linked also with Hull and Nottingham Forest meaning that it is now much more likely that he will play in this league. He is well worth backing at 16/1, regardless of what club he is at.”

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Wolves sign Ipswich defender on loan

January 29, 2013

Wolverhampton Wanderers have completed the loan signing of Richard Stearman from Ipswich Town till the end of the season. The move reunites the defender with former Wolves boss Mick McCarthy under whom the former was a regular at Molineux. He has struggled to get game time this season with only eight starts under his belt and will boost McCarthy’s defensive options at Portman Road following Blackburn’s decision to recall Bradley Orr from his loan spell.

Stearman is primarily a centre half but he might also see himself featuring at right back for the Tractor Boys following Orr’s exit.

Stearman started his career with Leicester City and was with them till 2008 before joining Wolves. He is a former England U21 international.

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Swansea star joins Owls on loan

January 25, 2013

Swansea striker Leroy Lita has agreed to join Sheffield Wednesday on loan till the end of the season. Lita has struggled to get first team football at the Liberty Stadium and had a stint on loan at Birmingham City at the beginning of the season. He could make his Owls debut this weekend against Charlton

Lita is a well travelled footballer, having also represented the likes of Bristol City, Reading and Middlesbrough previously in his careeer.

Wednesday boss Dave Jones said that they had the option to make the deal permanent if Lita impressed them sufficiently during his loan stint.

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Leeds striker hands in transfer request

January 24, 2013

Prolific Leeds striker Luciano Becchio has submitted a transfer request, the club have announced. Becchio has been the subject of interest of atleast two bids from outside the country and the Argentine striker has reiterated his desire to leave Elland Road despite being contracted to them till the summer of 2014.

Leeds have revealed that Becchio wishes to make the move for financial reasons and also added that they attempted to renegotiate the terms of his current deal, but were unable to reach an agreement with the 29 year old forward.

Becchio has been with Leeds since 2008 when he joined them from Merida. He also holds an Italian passport that makes it easy for him to work in the European Union.

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Eagles shore up midfield with Butterfield signing

January 16, 2013

Promotion chasing Crystal Palace have signed Jacob Butterfield on loan from Norwich City on an emergency deal till February 19, the London outfit have announced. Butterfield joined Norwich from Barnsley last year but has struggled to break into the first team at Carrow Road and had a stint on loan with Bolton earlier this season. He could be well making his Palace debut against his former club, with the Eagles set to lock horns against the Trotters in the Championship this weekend.

Butterfield has made only three competitive appearances for Norwich and will be looking to gain more first team experience under his belt at Selhurst Park.

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Leeds sign Everton youngster on loan

January 11, 2013

Leeds United have completed the signing of promising Everton star Ross Barkley on loan. The midfielder, 21, will stay with the Whites for an initial period of one month. Barkley is a product of the Everton academy, had many Championship clubs interested in his signing after an impressive spell on loan at Sheffield Wednesday earlier this season. He netted four times in 13 appearances for the Owls before being recalled by the Toffees.

Barkley thus becomes Leeds’ third signing of the January window after Michael Tonge and Ryan Hall.

Barkley could make his Leeds debut this weekend when they take on Barnsley in the Championship.

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Gradel on his way back to Leeds

December 14, 2012

The recent takeover by GFH Capital at Leeds United is what their huge fan base has been craving for some time. Under the chairmanship of the controversial Ken Bates, they have seen season ticket prices rise, key players like Robert Snodgrass and Jonny Howson depart for insultingly small fees and inept replacements like Michael Brown get regular games. On top of that, despite performing well under enforced austerity, Simon Grayson was sacked and replaced with Neil Warnock, a man who despite his achievements has done very little in the Elland Road hot seat to date.

The new owners are likely to give Warnock money to spend in the January transfer window, a luxury the blunt former Sheffield United and QPR boss thought he’d never experience. One of the players being linked with a move to the sleeping giants is their former winger Max Gradel. The talented yet fiery Ivorian winger left at the start of last season for French side St. Etienne and has been a permanent fixture in the side since. However, he has expressed his love for the Yorkshire side and hasn’t ruled a return.

Since the takeover, Leeds fans are a little more optimistic, and with the addition of West Brom winger Jerome Thomas as a loan signing, they have looked a little more threatening. However, a lack of creativity and leakiness at the back need addressing if they are to challenge for promotion. Despite their stuttering start to the season, Warnock’s men are 8/1 with Ladbrokes to be promoted come the end of the season. A recent defeat against Derby County stopped a mini-revival, although if Gradel and a few new faces came to the club next month, there’s a chance that they could make the play-off places if they start to gel quickly.

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Burnley star unmoved by transfer rumours

November 16, 2012

Burnley striker Charlie Austin has stated that he is not letting rumours of a big money move effect his game. Austin has scored an incredible 20 goals in just 17 appearances this season and scored the winner against Leeds last time out.

The 23 year-old is grounded though, even after scoring in eight consecutive matches. His form in the Championship has led to speculation about a move to the Premier League, with the likes of Reading and Sunderland believed to be interested in acquiring his services.

However, Austin isn’t getting carried away. He told the media: “I’m not up there – I play in the Championship, I don’t play in the Premier League, “If I do get there, brilliant, and I’ll assess that situation when I get there. I play for Burnley in the Championship at the moment, I’ve got a job to do in the Championship scoring as many goals as I can and that’s what I’m doing.

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Ipswich draft in Rovers full-back Orr

November 15, 2012

Championship side Ipswich have signed Blackburn Rovers full-back Bradley Orr on-loan until the New Year. The 30 year-old has struggled to make regular first team appearances at Ewood Park since the arrival of new boss Henning Berg.

Orr moved to Blackburn in January from QPR and was part of the Rovers squad that was relegated from the Premier League last season. Orr has made 18 appearances for Rovers this season, but was an unused substitute against Birmingham.

Orr declared that it was events behind-the-scenes that led to him wanting to go out on-loan. He told the East Anglian Daily Times: “There were a few things going on in the upper echelons of the club at Blackburn and I wanted to get out on loan.

“Once I heard of Ipswich’s interest, I was really keen to come down here. Thankfully we’ve managed to get something sorted and I’m absolutely delighted”.

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