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You can't blame Huddersfield Town for trying

Saturday 8th July 2017
In the past fortnight, newly promoted Huddersfield Town have broken their club-record transfer on three separate occasions. They are the bookies' favourite to be relegated. Many supporters see the club as destined to be doomed. Still, you can't say they aren't trying.

Let's be honest. No one expected the Terriers to be in this position. When, despite everyone's apparent wise counsel, its board decided to take the plunge with an unknown entity, David Wagner, to lead them forward, relegation from the Championship was anticipated for the plucky Yorkshiremen. However, thanks to a number of astute additions, especially on loan, and a remarkably industrious run through the playoffs, Wagner was able to lead the Terriers back into English football's top flight after a 45-year absence.
Given the calibre of competition, you would have been forgiven for writing them off. Fulham, Sheffield Wednesday and Reading, all teams with far greater followings, infrastructure and ability to spend, were the other clubs in the playoffs. Now that Huddersfield are in the Premier League, its competition has only gotten stiffer. The Bookies, as always, are aware.

Entering the season, Huddersfield are the odds-on favourite to be relegated. Paddy Power are offering rather harsh 8/13 odds. No other club is worse than evens. Brighton, a team that have never been in English football's top tier, sit at 6/5. Unsurprisingly, with Mike Ashley's deep pockets and Rafa Benitez in the dugout, Newcastle are at 7/2. Such remarkable disparity between Huddersfield and their competitors demonstrates how unfancied Wagner's side is.

However, given their activity in the transfer window thus far, there can be no argument the Terriers are not trying.

In just two weeks, Huddersfield have thrice broken their club-record transfer. The fees involved may not seem much in the modern world's inflated TV money and sponsorship endorsements. Still, to break any record three times in a short span is no insignificant business.

The Terrier's first signing was Laurent Depoitre from Porto, on 23rd June. Depoitre is what Wagner described as a "proper striker." He is big, strong, and has enjoyed past success. However, Porto had little need for him, limiting the Belgian to just 13 appearances last season. His fee was £3.5 million, usually an add-on figure in today's market. But for Huddersfield, that is not the case. For Huddersfield, this is big money.
Depoitre's mark lasted just seven days. Huddersfield secured on-loan Manchester City midfielder Aaron Mooy's permanent addition. The Aussie had enjoyed a stellar season at the Kirklees Stadium in 2016-17. At £8 million, with--cough--£2 million in possible add-ons, Mooy's purchase more than doubled Depoitre's, further proof Wagner intends to give the Premier League his best shot.

To top it all off, (or maybe not) Huddersfield agreed on a fee with Ligue 1 side Montpellier on Wednesday for Steve Mounie. The striker is reported to have cost around £11 million, again breaking their club transfer record. He will likely play alongside Depoitre.

Now, I am not here to say these are excellent signings. Other than Mooy and Ince, I have never seen them play. But the fact Huddersfield is willing to commit significant investment to its relegation ventures is nice to see. They could have very well banked the extra cash, accepted the drop as inevitable, then looked to return later. Instead, they are throwing themselves at the opportunity to succeed at the highest level. Whether they fail or succeed, they should be applauded for trying.
Andrew Dowdeswell

A sport obsessed 20 something who just really wants Arsenal to finally win the league. Please Wenger, what the hell happened to you?!

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