West Brom and Leeds are two teams that will be batting at the top of the Championship table come the end of the season.
Both clubs have some excellent players across the field, particularly in defence. The two teams perhaps boast the two best left-backs in the league in Kieran Gibbs and Barry Douglas.
With that in mind, let’s compare these two transfers…
After a 13 year association with Arsenal, Gibbs moved to West Brom in the summer of 2017 for £7m. Being an FA Cup winner and England international, this was seen as a major coup for The Baggies.
However, his first season at The Hawthorns perhaps didn’t go to plan, as the club were dismally relegated from the Premier League. Thus, while it was a good signing last season, what’s even better is the fact that West Brom managed to keep hold of the defender in the Championship.
This season he has been a mainstay in Darren Moore’s team, as they have had a turbulent start to their campaign, which has seen them rise to top of the table and fall back down recently.
Given Gibbs’ pedigree, this was a very good signing indeed.
TT Grade: A
Leeds signed Douglas from Wolves this summer for an undisclosed fee. The defender had just featured extensively in his previous club’s promotion, but clearly was deemed a Championship player.
He has been equally impressive this season with The Whites, excelling under Marcelo Bielsa primarily as a wing-back, and has endeared himself to the Leeds faithful.
As good as he has been, and could well be a figurehead in Leeds’ potential promotion, the Scot may not make the move to the Premier League.
That does not stop this from being a hugely impressive signing.
TT Grade: A-
This is a hard transfer battle to call for a number of reasons. Firstly, although Gibbs has clearly played at a higher standard, he was bought as a Premier League player, not a Championship one. West Brom did not buy him with the expectation of being relegated, and therefore it makes this a peculiar case.
On the other hand, Douglas was bought for the Championship, and is excelling there.
But the fact that Gibbs has proven that he can succeed in the Premier League is the reason why he wins this battle.