Next up in the transfer window review we look at the Aaron Mooy transfer from Manchester City to Huddersfield Town. Mooy was instrumental in Huddersfield Town’s return to the top flight for the first time in 45 years. David Wagner moved quickly to re-sign the Australian after his loan from Man City ended.
Position: centre midfield, can also play as an attacking midfielder
Transfer Fee: £8mil
Contract Length: 3 years
2016/17 League Stats (Championship) 43 starts (3 sub appearances) 4 goals (7 assists)
Verdict: It came as no surprise that Huddersfield moved quickly to re-sign Mooy after the impact he made last season. He joined Huddersfield on loan last summer almost immediately after completing a permanent move to Man City from Australian club Melbourne City.
When Man City purchased Mooy on the face of it, it didn’t make much sense. Given his age he was unlikely to improve massively and given the depth of talent at City and their active, ‘big name’ approach in the market it was always unlikely he’d be able to forge a career at the Etihad amongst some of the stiffest competition in World football.
Despite selling Fernando, natural centre-midfielders Fernandinho, Yaya Toure and a still injured Gundogan remained. Whilst Pep. also likes to deploy the play-makers De Bruyne and Silva deeper, in-keeping with his possession based system. So a player immediately loaned to the Championship was never really going to realistically break through when he returned.
So why did City sign him in the first place? Well Melbourne City, the club Mooy joined from, are actually an affiliate club to Man City. Melbourne City, much like New York City are part of Man City’s wider footballing network which enables the ‘parent’ club to sign players from them with little or no compensation. I’ve heard of these affiliate clubs being described as glorified academies and I can see why.
Whilst there’s no question that as part of Man City’s network these clubs will also benefit financially from the same wealthy owners, their primary objective is not necessarily the club’s league success in their respective league judging by events. Instead the objective seems to help develop talent for the parent club. Whether that be the likes of Mooy who is slightly older and has gone on to prove himself at a level and then command a fee which is pure profit for the parent club or potentially a youngster who would go on to represent Man City at various youth levels.
This idea is also supported by the fact that rather than appoint a manager with experience or success in the Australian A-League, Melbourne City opted to appoint Warren Joyce. He may have been sacked at Wigan last year and lacking in much managerial experience anywhere but what he is renown for is his vast experience as a youth manager at Man Utd. It is no coincidence that someone with his credentials ended up as Melbourne City’s manager.
In terms of Mooy, in some respects last season was therefore a best case scenario for everyone. He performed fantastically for Huddersfield playing a huge part in their promotion. He established himself in English football, albeit in a lower division, securing a permanent move with a now Premiership club. Whilst his value rose as high as it could realistically, given the circumstances, maximising City’s profit.
I’m struggling to think of many better players in the Championship last season than Mooy, let alone better centre-midfielders. It may sound a strange thing to say given he’s hadn’t played in the Premiership but last season he looked too good for the Championship and arguably ready for the Premiership a year earlier than he arrived. You’d have to say he’s supported that with a game winning goal versus Newcastle and an assist at Selhurst Park within his first 3 games in the Premiership.
He’s a good age and finds himself at the centre of a club on the up. It’s hard to see Huddersfield struggling this season given their start and the astuteness of their transfer business, as least going by early performances. However it’s far too early to make any concrete predictions. They will likely be in the relegation mix if the quality within the squad as a whole is compared to the rest of the league.
In Mooy they have secured a class act in midfield and despite the £8mil fee being substantial to a club like Huddersfield in comparison to a lot of deals in the transfer market this summer, I’m certain it will be viewed as shrewd business. It wouldn’t surprise me if Huddersfield are rejecting offers of £20mil+ next summer.
If Mooy stays fit, which I have no reason to believe he won’t given he featured in every game last season in the much longer Championship season, he will surely have a big say in whether Huddersfield stay up. If anything happens to the Australian however then I do fear for the Terriers, despite their start.
— Huddersfield Town (@htafcdotcom) June 30, 2017
What do you think about Mooy? Premiership quality or not? Will Huddersfield go down?