Transfer Window: How the likes of Sheffield United, Leeds United, Huddersfield Town and Bradford City compare in their approach to summer deals

WHEN it comes to analysing incoming transfer activity across Yorkshire clubs in the summer transfer window thus far, it is very much along the lines of a north-south split.

Whereas Bradford City, Huddersfield Town, Harrogate Town, Hull City and – to a lesser extent, Middlesbrough – have been busy and showed a predilection to do the bulk of their business early, those in the south of the county have had to be circumspect for contrasting reasons.

The honourable exception in South Yorkshire are Doncaster Rovers, whose transactions have been pretty brisk with seven new arrivals coming in so far.

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For Barnsley, Rotherham United and the Sheffield clubs, patience will hopefully be a virtue.

BUSY TIMES: Bradford City manager Derek Adams. Picture: John Walton/PA

No-one has been busier so far than Bradford City and despite the fact that Derek Adams only arrived at the start of June, the benefits of planning and contingencies quickly reaped a harvest.

When he was interviewed for the post in December, Adams spoke not just about targets in the last new-year window and even the Bantams’ end-of-season retained list, but also players who he wanted to target to bring in the close season if he arrived then.

The Scot has duly delivered in double-quick time, bringing in eight new signings by the end of June, having put a premium on not just ability, but the requisite character as he eyes the fifth promotion of his managerial career.

The likes of Yann Songo’o and Oscar Threlkeld have worked with him before and there is plenty of lower-division nous in Andy Cook and Liam Ridehalgh.

FAMILIAR FACE: Rory McArdle will face former club Bradford City this season after signing for League Two rivals Harrogate Town. Picture: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Across at Harrogate, two senior figures in the shape of centre-half Rory McArdle and another Yorkshireman with miles on the clock in goalkeeper Mark Oxley are likely to add significantly in terms of their presence in the dressing room and on the pitch.

Both Huddersfield and Hull have also elected to be quick out of the blocks in their summer recruitment and with good reason.

On the back of a third difficult season in a row, Town were proactive in their early manoeuvres, headlined by the arrival of someone whose previous exploits needed no introduction to Terriers supporters in Jordan Rhodes.

Bringing in some new defensive options in Matty Pearson, Levi Colwill. Josh Ruffels and Ollie Turton should mean that Town’s rearguard will also have a much-changed look in 2021-22.

HEADING HOME: Jordan Rhodes has returned to former club Huddersfield Town after a lean spell at Sheffield Wednesday. Picture: Isaac Parkin/PA

Further inward activity is envisaged, although chairman Phil Hodgkinson has stressed that it will depend on outgoings.

Hull’s alacrity in bringing in five new signings was all the more timely, given the fact that they have since been placed under a transfer embargo by the EFL.

The sanction relates to a loan which it applied for and received from the governing body to help it through the Covid-19 pandemic.

One of the prerequisites of receiving funds was for transfer business to be severely restricted, with the club’s transactions having been in the free transfer and loan market. Restrictions will expire as soon as the loan is settled.

SLIM PICKINGS: Sheffield Wednesday manager Darren Moore. Picture: Steve Ellis

No longer under their own transfer embargo, Wednesday are playing catch-up and despite kick-starting some business with the additions of Jaden Brown, Dennis Adeniran and Olamide Shodipo, manager Darren Moore has plenty to do.

Speaking last week, Moore left everyone under no illusions about the need for much more activity and with funds severely limited, he will have to show ingenuity in the market and utilise his strong contacts base at Under-23s level at a number of Premier League clubs in particular.

Moore observed: “We’re still nowhere near where we should be squad-wise, nowhere near.”

Across the Steel City, Slavisa Jokanovic also has work to do. A series of planning meetings with key club figures, including recruitment chief Paul Mitchell – present at the club’s recent training camp in Spain – suggest that the wheels are firmly in motion.

The clock is also beginning to tick for Barnsley and Rotherham. A fair bit of time remains with the window not closing for business until September 2, but there are some key pieces of work to get through in the in-tray.

A signing or two would make followers of the majority of South Yorkshire clubs sleep a little bit easier in the current sultry heat.

For Leeds United, the watchwords are quality and control, with their left flank bolstered by Junior Firpo and Jack Harrison.

With a gross debt of over €1 billion, Barcelona made a host of squad players available for transfer in their desperate quest to reduce the wage bill to register new players within the league-imposed salary cap, including Firpo.

His arrival smacks of smart business by Leeds, with the full-time signing of Harrison being another smooth, joined-up and natural development.