Yorkshire's Transfer Window: Hull City late to the party as most Yorkshire clubs open early for business

NEVER has football been so awash with money, at least at the very top level.

Huddersfield Town manager David Wagner, right, conducted most of his business early on in the summer transfer window. Picture: PA.

And never has there been so much anticipation ahead of a deadline day, thanks in part to the Football League clubs no longer having the emergency loan window to fall back on and the total spend by the top flight having soared through the £1bn mark.

As with many things in life, however, the reality didn’t quite live up to the billing. Sure, an abundance of deals were done and some of these – David Luiz, anyone? – were genuine head-scratchers. But, come 11pm last night, the over-riding feeling was more, ‘Thank God that’s over for another 12 months’ rather than, ‘Gosh, wasn’t that fun?’

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Still, from a Yorkshire perspective, the 2016 summer transfer window was a largely productive affair. Most White Rose clubs got their intended business done, even if in Hull City’s case they left it until the 11th hour before finally joining the party.

Huddersfield Town manager David Wagner, right, conducted most of his business early on in the summer transfer window. Picture: PA.

The Tigers, in fact, were one of four clubs from within the county to shatter their transfer record this summer. The £13m fee that can rise by a further £2m paid for Ryan Mason looks, in today’s inflated market, good business, as does the capture of Cardiff City goalkeeper David Marshall.

Yesterday brought further additions as James Weir and Dieumerci Mbokani were set to be joined at the KCOM Stadium by one more new face to at least ensure Mike Phelan, providing justice is done and he gets the job on a permanent basis after somehow cajoling a threadbare squad into a hugely impressive start to the Premier League season, will take City to Burnley on September 10 with the semblance of a bench to call upon.

The fear, of course, is that, even with those additions in the final 36 hours of the window, City may yet be found out due to a lack of numbers. Even when Michael Dawson, Allan McGregor, Moses Odubajo and Alex Bruce are fit, the club’s tally of senior outfield players will still only number 19.

City’s squad, however, looks in better shape than it did at the start of the week and, crucially, the additions look the type to fit in neatly to what is clearly a close-knit group.

BUSY SUMMER: Leeds United manager, Garry Monk. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

In terms of getting business done early, it has been a different story at Yorkshire’s other top flight representative. Middlesbrough were so quick off the mark that many of Aitor Karanka’s recruits, including proven Premier League performers such as Alvaro Negredo, were on board by the time the squad flew out to Marbella early in pre-season.

Another to get much of his recruitment done early was David Wagner, the Huddersfield Town head coach having made 12 of his 13 signings before the middle of July.

Many of these were from abroad, hence the big advantage in having as much time as possible to familiarise the new faces with not only English football but also the gegenpressing system Wagner had imported from his native Germany the previous November. Town sitting two points clear at the top of the Championship shows the prudency of this approach.

Sheffield Wednesday, like Huddersfield, broke their existing transfer record this summer. Unlike Wagner, however, Carlos Carvalhal left it late to seal a £5m deal to sign Middlesbrough winger Adam Reach that could rise by a further £2m.

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER Hull City caretaker manager Mike Phelan made a number of key deals this week. Picture: Simon Galloway/PA.

The Owls also spent £3m on Almen Abdi, while the additions of Steven Fletcher, Daniel Pudil and David Jones did not come cheap to underline the ambition of chairman Dejphon Chansiri.

Elsewhere, Leeds United’s summer was another mixed bag on the transfer front. Decent signings have been made, most notably Kemar Roofe from Oxford United for £3m and Pablo Hernandez, who four years ago yesterday was such a hot property that Swansea City spent £5.5m on the Spaniard. But, yet another window at Elland Road brought the departure of a homegrown talent and there can be little doubt that United’s midfield is poorer without Lewis Cook.

Rotherham United completed the Yorkshire quartet to break their transfer record this summer but, of all our clubs, the Millers look the most likely to suffer from having no emergency loan window to fall back on.

Last season, the county’s 11 Football League representatives made 29 temporary signings between September and December. Several such as Lloyd Isgrove, Liam Bridcutt, Gary Hooper and Kyel Reid made a big impact but now that avenue has been closed.

Huddersfield Town manager David Wagner, right, conducted most of his business early on in the summer transfer window. Picture: PA.

FIFA’s ruling raised fears that clubs in the lower divisions might panic and stockpile sufficient players to try and cover for injuries and suspensions at potentially ruinous cost. Thankfully, this hasn’t been the case, at least in Yorkshire where the number of deals aren’t massively different to a year ago.

Where Huddersfield Town have brought 13 senior players in, Middlesbrough 12 and Sheffield United 11, a year ago the likes of Sheffield Wednesday (15), Rotherham United (15), Bradford City (12) and Middlesbrough (10) were all very active.

With three of those four clubs going on to reach either the play-offs or win automatic promotion, the hope has to be that whatever transfer surgery has been done in the past two months can bring similar success this time around.

BUSY SUMMER: Leeds United manager, Garry Monk. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER Hull City caretaker manager Mike Phelan made a number of key deals this week. Picture: Simon Galloway/PA.