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Transfers - Football: EFL Round-Up

With only five weeks to until the start of the new EFL season, squads are beginning to take shape across all three divisions with promotion on the agenda for so many clubs up and down the country.

Huddersfield and Burnley will kick off the new season on Friday 29th July - the early start due to the mid-season World Cup - with another gruelling campaign lying ahead.

Burnley, Watford, and Norwich will all be targeting an immediate promotion back to the Premier League, while Huddersfield will be keen to avenge their play-off final defeat against Nottingham Forest and seal a top-flight return themselves.

There are several clubs that will be aiming for promotion come what may with Middlesbrough, West Brom, and even promoted Sunderland eyeing up their chances.

Relegated clubs remain patient

Burnley's squad has been decimated since relegation with new boss Vincent Kompany hoping to get names in as quickly as possible while new Watford manager Rob Edwards has also stressed the need to be patient as he becomes the latest manager to take charge in Hertfordshire.

Norwich are the only one of the teams who were relegated to have conducted business with Isaac Hayden joining on a season-long loan from Newcastle - the ex-Arenal trainee earned promotion the last time he was playing in the Championship in 2017.

The Canaries are 6/1 to win the Championship for a third time in recent years, while Watford are 7/1, and Burnley stand at 14/1.

Baggies bag excellent free transfers

Perhaps the best value business done so far this summer has been from Steve Bruce's West Brom with midfielders John Swift and Jed Wallace joining from Reading and Millwall respectively.

Swift is a creative midfielder who was allowed to leave Reading due to their financial problems and now he has linked up with West Brom while former Wolves attacker Wallace is someone who brings excellent movement to his side.

He only managed six goals last season but got into double figures the years prior and the fact that they have managed to take the best players off two Championship clubs for nothing shows a savviness to West Brom's recruitment, with 11/4 the price for promotion.

Middlesbrough, priced 11/4 to also go up next term, have also prised an asset away for free with Republic of Ireland centre-back Darragh Lenihan joining from Blackburn and he adds extra quality and nous to what is set to be another Chris Widler back- three formation.

Left wing-back Ryan Giles joins from Wolves on a year's loan and he should slot in perfectly to their squad.

Play off semi-finalists Luton Town have also started to get busy with some typically understated signings as Nathan Jones aims to get the Hatters punching above their weight once more.

Cauley Woodrow is the key arrival with the Barnsley forward heading back to the club where he began his career and his clever link-up style of play could really suit their tactical style.

Cardiff get busy this summer

The busiest team so far have been Cardiff, who have brought in eight new faces as they waved goodbye to a number of players in order to trim budgets.

All but two of them have been free transfers with winger Callum O'Dowda, and right-back Mahlon Romeo bringing Championship experience.

Across Wales, Swansea are seeking improvements following last year's mid-table finish under Russell Martin and he has brought in defenders Harry Darling and Matthew Sorinola - players he knew from his stint as MK Dons boss.

Rortherham lose stars

Of the three promoted clubs, only Rotherham have signed anyone so far with Sunderland Wigan preferring to remain patient.
Strikers Tom Eaves and Conor Washington have arrived on free transfers with Pual Warne's men hoping to stay in the same division for the first time since 2016 - the Millers have been bouncing between the second and third tiers ever since.

However, two of their star men during the promotion campaign in striker Michael Smith and defender Michael Ihiekwe have decided to leave in favour of joining Sheffield Wednesday, which shows the scale of the task at hand - the Millers are 13/8 to be relegated.

Posh go for tried and tested method

Peterborough are aiming for promotion at the first attempt following Championship relegation and the arrivals of winger David Ajiboye and midfielder Hector Kyprianou are in the same mould as their usual acquisitions - young and hungry players from lower divisions.

MK Dons have gone down the same route - centre-back Jack Tucker has arrived after a good season for Gillingham last year while winger Ntahn Holland arrives following an impressive stint at Oxford.

Sheffield Wednesday, who failed in last season's play offs have gone down the more experienced route with midfielder Will Vaulks and goalkeeper David Stcokdlae among those joining Smith and Ihiekwe at Hillsborough.

Posh are 12/1 to win League One with the Dons 14/1.

Hughes hoping to rejuvenate Bantams

Mark Hughes was a surprising choice to take over at Bradford last season and, in his first full season in charge, has decided to rip up his squad and start from scratch.

He has brought in nine new players during this window already and has made some impressive coups - winger Harry Chapman has been good for Burton and Shrewsbury in League One loan deals and joins on a free, while Richie Smallwood gives huge experience to the midfield after leaving Hull.

Stockport are expected to fare well upon their promotion back to the EFL and they have snapped up some of the National League's best talents - Kyle Wootton scored plenty for Notts County last season while Joe Lewis was one of the best defenders and he arrives from Torquay.

The Hatters are 7/1 to win League Two with Bradford at 9/1.

One of the most eye-catching moves is Dom Telford going from Newport to Crawley - the 25-year-old was the top scorer last season and looked destined for a move up the ladder but Crawley have sealed an impressive coup.

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