David Wagner discusses the incomings and the outgoings of Huddersfield Town’s January Transfer Window.
Huddersfield lost two players in the window, in Joe Lolley and Martin Cranie, but also acclaimed Sean Scannell back from loan, as well as welcoming Terence Kongolo and Alex Pritchard to the squad.
25-year-old Lolley moved to Nottingham Forest, whilst 31-year-old Cranie went to Middlesbrough – both for undisclosed fees.
Scannell was recalled from his loan at Burton Albion after picking up a groin injury, Kongolo joined from AS Monaco on-loan, whilst Pritchard signed on a permanent deal from Norwich City.
Huddersfield squad is “stronger” now
Wagner feels that Huddersfield are stronger at the end of the transfer window compared to how they were at the beginning: “We are stronger and this was the idea – to try and strengthen the squad – even if everybody knows how difficult it is, especially for a Club like us.”
The boss feels the two signings were two positions Town “really needed”, and Kongolo has already made an impact on the team with some strong defensive performances.
Pritchard’s start in a Town shirt has been slow, and he hasn’t yet had a chance to really make an impact, and show his quality.
He further commented that it “makes sense” for Town to allow both Lolley and Cranie to move on, and further added: “Everybody knows we have a big challenge in front of us. To try and be successful in this challenge we only have to have players who 100% commit.”
“They thought they’d like to move on – they had good opportunities and I totally respect their decisions. I am very thankful to them for what they have done for me since I arrived here,” the 46-year-old said.
Town have a chance to make “another miracle happen”
With Huddersfield currently sitting 19th in the Premier League – their first time in the relegation zone this season - they are right in the mix of the relegation battle, but as are many other teams, and on this Wagner said: “We now know exactly which group of players try to take this big challenge in front of us from a good starting point and try to be successful – to try and make another miracle happen and stay in the Premier League."
It seems clear that Lolley and Cranie had thought about leaving, especially since the new arrivals, as this would limit their already limited playing time even more: “If Joe and Martin had a doubt about staying here and its right for them it makes no sense to stay here.”
“This is why I immediately opened the door and said; listen, if you find a club which matches our idea in terms of transfer fee, I have no problems because you gave everything for this football club, you helped the football club and if you now think it’s time to move on, and you find the right club, the do it,” Wagner admitted.
Wagner clearly want a positive mental attitude from all of his players as he said: “I don’t like to have even one player in this dressing room who does not want to be here. This happens not just this transfer window but every transfer window.”
He further commented: “Everything we have done in the past and everything we have to do in the future is too difficult and too big that you can not reach it if not everybody is convinced.”
“This was always the case when we moved into the window and the aim was always, at the end of the window, everybody who is in the dressing room has 100% commitment for the challenge we have in front of us.”