Manager: David Wagner
Squad value: £43.56 million
Key players: Steve Mounie, Aaron Mooy, Christopher Schindler
Huddersfield Town will be playing first division football for the first time since 1971-72 after winning the promotion playoff final over Reading in penalties.
This might be one of the greatest underdogs playing in Premier League history, but their odds are at only 1500 to 1. It seems that the bookies have learned their lesson after Leicester City’s 5000 to 1 miracle.
Being underdogs is nothing new for the Terriers. No one expected them to do well last season in the Championship, let alone, be promoted.
Led by their beloved manager, David Wagner, no matter what happens, the supporters will be behind the club one-hundred percent. Even the club owner Dean Hoyle has promised not to sack Wagner regardless if they stay afloat or sink back down to the Championship.
After the winning promotion, the club wasted no time in assembling their squad that needed much improvement to compete in the Premier League.
Owner Dean Hoyle, manager David Wagner, and head of football operations, David Moss, worked diligently to bring in the new players before the start of preseason.
In a span of 12 days, Huddersfield broke their own team transfer record three times. First, it was striker Laurent Depoitre from FC Porto for a reported £3.5 million, followed by Aaron Mooy from Manchester City for a reported £8 million, and then for their largest purchase, Benin international striker Steve Mounie for a reported club record £11.5 million from Montpellier.
But it has been published that Mounie isn’t the club’s biggest transfer of all time, but winger Tom Ince from Fulham—the fee could rise due to performance.
Pressing style and the players that have to make it work
Wagner sets up the Terriers to press hard, play quickly, and think creatively, which worked successfully to a degree. Last season, Huddersfield struggled with putting the ball in the back of the net—second worst among the top half in the Championship.
The addition of Mounie and Depoitre will be the much needed reliability in front of the net. Scoring goals, as well as keeping them out, are going to be crucial to reach that all important 40 point mark.
Brighton’s backline is also going to have their work cut out for them.
They brought in reinforcements with the addition of Danish International Mathias ‘Zanka’ Jorgensen from FC Copenhagen. Christopher Schindler was the rock for Brighton last season and was partnered up with fellow German Michael Hefele.
It will be interesting on who Wagner mixes up each weekend.
Aaron Mooy is going to be the most important player in the club. He spent last season on loan with the Terriers and won the 2016-17 Huddersfield Town Player of the Year and was featured in the PFA Championship Team of the Year.
His quick thinking, strength, and knowledge of the game helps bridge the gap between the backline, midfield, and attackers. Other Premier League clubs know this too.
As he is going to attract a lot of attention from the opposition, it could give American Danny Williams, who was brought in on a free transfer, Jonathan Hogg, or Philip Billings opportunities to shine. Hogg does have the advantage of already playing along Mooy in the previous season.
Some say they are here just to enjoy the ride of the Premier League. Can they the underdogs achieve more than a ride?
Written by Steven Jotterand
Follow Steven on Twitter @StevenJotterand
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