Early indications suggest David Wagner and his recruitment team are acutely aware of the challenges that lie ahead. 10 players had been signed by 7th July, including Kasey Palmer’s return on loan from Chelsea as well as permanent deals for Elias Kachunga and Aaron Mooy.
The latter was regarded as their most important piece of business and one which could give them a competitive advantage – despite this, Huddersfield are 11/10 odds to stay up with betting sites as of 12th July. Most Premier League teams outside the top seven favour two conservative midfielders in order to deny space in central areas, but this tends to come at the cost of creativity.
Mooy, partnered by the battling Jonathan Hogg, does his share of defensive work, but his skillset extends far beyond ball-winning. The Australian makes the right decisions in possession, retaining possession in good areas, whilst also knowing when to play the killer passes that will release a more advanced, quicker player. This remarkably diverse range of qualities will make Mooy one of the most unique and exciting players in the Premier League.
Mooy will look to create for one of the new strikers. Steve Mounie joins from Montpellier after scoring 14 goals in Ligue 1 last season, just one fewer than the widely-courted Kylian Mbappe. Equally, Laurent Depoitre has twice been among the top scorers in Belgium’s top flight, even if his opportunities at Porto were hindered by stylistic differences. Depoitre and Mounie are powerful and industrious 6’3″ strikers who will not be afraid of grappling with even the hardest of centre-backs.
The West Yorkshire side now have one of their own in Mathias Jorgenson. An athletic defender, the 27-year-old has won the Danish Superliga with his boyhood club, FC Copenhagen, on five occasions including the last two seasons. He was key to Byens Hold’s respectable defensive displays against Porto, who reached the Champions League last 16 and Ajax, the Europa League runners-up.
These signings of European pedigree are joined by some of the best performers from last season’s Championship. Scott Malone’s remarkable stamina should allow him to compete fiercely for the left-back spot with Chris Loewe, while versatile midfielder Danny Williams showed power and work rate at Reading. Tom Ince is a little more mercurial than the aforementioned duo, but he was directly involved in 20 league goals last season and could thrive if he adapts to the high-octane demands.
That intensity is encouraged by the supporters, whose connection to the club has never been stronger. 4k loyal fans who have remained on board since 2010 have been given £100 season tickets, with chairman Dean Hoyle credited for his fan-centred philosophy. The spirit and atmosphere that bond generates should not be underestimated.
Huddersfield have their best team in nearly half a century – write them off at your peril.