With the transfer window now well underway, most eyes have been focused on the big deals taking place in the top flight of English football.
The news that United have agreed a deal in principle to sign Raphael Varane means that the club are set to bring in their second major signing of the window.
But whilst all that is going on, clubs across the Football League have been strengthening their squads with new talent ahead of the 2021/22 season.
And with only just over a week to go until kick-off in all three divisions, squads as they are now will likely not look too different when the first balls are kicked.
Let’s take a look at five of the best signings so far across the EFL:
Alex Mowatt (Barnsley to West Bromwich Albion)
The expiry of Alex Mowatt’s contract at Barnsley earlier in the summer put plenty of clubs on red alert.
The 26-year-old has established himself as one of the leading midfielders outside of the Premier League over recent years.
In the 2020/21 season, he helped Barnsley to a superb play-off spot as club captain, scoring eight goals from 40 appearances.
Mowatt has now moved with his former Tykes head coach Valerien Ismael to West Brom, where he will hope to reach the Premier League.
Ben Wilmot (Watford to Stoke City)
Nathan Collins’s departure to Premier League side Burnley left Stoke with a large gap to fill in the centre of defence.
Ben Wilmot made 25 appearances for Watford in their promotion-winning season, although he featured less following the appointment of Xisco.
The 21-year-old attracted interest from several clubs, but Stoke won the race for his signature.
He can also play in midfield, making him a valuable utility option for a side looking to push for the play-offs this season.
Rekeem Harper (West Bromwich Albion to Ipswich Town)
When Rekeem Harper made his Premier League debut for West Brom in 2017 at the age of just 17, plenty had eyes on him as a future talent.
He spent time on loan at Blackburn Rovers later that season before returning to the Baggies.
Harper would go on to become a regular member of Darren Moore’s squad the following campaign. Since then, however, he hasn’t quite had the same level of game time consistently.
Just 10 league appearances followed in 2019/20, before he made two appearances in the top flight last season. Midway through the campaign, he was loaned to Championship side Birmingham City, where he made 18 appearances.
As a player who has shown he can compete effectively at that level as a box to box midfielder, a move to Ipswich – and more regular football – could see him flourish this season.
Alex Pritchard (Huddersfield Town to Sunderland)
Former Premier League midfielder Alex Pritchard joined Sunderland on a free transfer after leaving Huddersfield in the summer.
He joined the Terriers when they were a top flight side back in 2018, and went on to make over 40 appearances in the division.
A creative midfielder, the ex-Tottenham youth product first made headlines when he was named as Brentford’s player of the season back in 2014/15 after scoring 12 goals.
But he never quite recaptured that sort of form at Huddersfield. However, at the age of 28, Pritchard still has plenty to contribute – and could light up League One if Sunderland boss Lee Johnson can get the best out of him.
Callum McManaman (Melbourne Victory to Tranmere Rovers)
It’s now eight years since Callum McManaman was named as man of the match in the FA Cup final, when Wigan beat Manchester City.
After signing for West Brom for a multi-million pound fee in 2015, the winger has played for four EFL clubs – including Wigan.
Following his release from A-League side Melbourne Victory earlier this month, McManaman signed for Tranmere in League Two.
With Rovers amongst the favourites to be promoted from the division, the 30-year-old could well play a crucial part.
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