Championship scout: top 10 foreign imports
With yet another international break halting the domestic season somewhat, I've decided to scour through the division's vast swathes of talent and produce another semi-interesting but ultimately pointless list.
It's no secret that in the current British transfer market, the price of proven quality has risen beyond all comprehension - to the point where nobody really knows what a player's true value is these days. Many an astute manager have realised that better value often lies beyond these shores, and have acted accordingly.
The top flight has seen many a successful foreign import down the years, and with the Championship keen to get in on the act, here's my attempt to list the top 10 Championship players who've made the switch to the British isles this summer (based mostly on the opening 10 games).
1) Bakary Sako (Wolves) - Signed from Ligue 1 side Saint-Étienne, the dynamic French winger has made an immediate impact, scoring 4 goals in his opening 8 outings on English soil - showcasing a left-boot described as 'out of this world' by manager Stale Solbakken.
2) Anthony Knockaert (Leicester) - Another to make the move from France to the Midlands, this time arriving from Ligue 2's Guingamp, the gifted attacker has endeared himself to the Foxes faithful with some exciting displays, one of which included a stunningly taken brace at Huddersfield.
3) Bruno Saltor (Brighton) - The Spanish right-back arrived on a free transfer from Valencia, and has gained an almost instant cult hero status through his accomplished performances on the right-flank, displaying both sound defensive ability, and bundles of creativity going forward.
4) Rodolph Austin (Leeds) - Neil Warnock turned to the Norwegian top flight to find the 27-year-old Jamaican centre-mid. A powerful, tenacious player, Austin has taken no time in making his mark in the heart of the Leeds midfield engine room.
5) Nuno Gomes (Blackburn) - A proven goalscorer on the European stage, the 36-year-old Benfica legend joined Rovers on a free transfer and has shown that class is permanent, even if fitness isn't - with 4 goals in 9 games this campaign.
6) Tongo Doumbia (Wolves) - Signing a season-long loan deal from Ligue 1 Renne, the powerhouse Malian midfielder has produced some dominant displays for Solbakken's side this season, taking no prisoners in the middle of the park and aiding Wolves' promising start.
7) Fernando Forestieri (Watford) One of a host of Udinese loanees drafted in via the Pozzo family this summer, the 22-year-old attacker has tormented many a Championship defence during the opening stage of the season, although he has also been accused of diving on more than one occasion.
8) André Moritz (Crystal Palace) The attack-minded Brazilian was described as a 'small risk' by boss Dougie Freedman as he made the move from Turkey, but the 26-year-old is already starting to prove his worth, showing plenty of ability and a clear eye for a pass.
9) Matěj Vydra (Watford) Settling in well for Zola's Hornets, the Czech forward bagged the winner at Palace on his debut, and has gone on to score 3 more in 6 further appearances since signing from Udinese. A hard-worker who loves to cut in from wide, Vydra will be one to look out for.
10) Rodri (Sheffield Wednesday) Another scoring debutant, with a tremendous solo effort against Birmingham, the Barcelona B loanee provides a touch of flair in Dave Jones' otherwise robust Owls side, and the Spaniard has made a promising start to life in England.
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