Liverpool’s £12 million sale of Harry Wilson to Fulham was the most expensive deal of the summer in the Championship – accounting for over 25 percent of fees paid.
Wilson finally left the Reds in July after 16 years with the club, swapping Anfield for Craven Cottage having spent each of the previous three seasons out on loan.
His time with Derby, Bournemouth and Cardiff saw his reputation enhanced, with the Wales international’s creativity and eye for goal convincing Fulham to sanction a big-money deal.
While it was £3 million lower than Liverpool had hoped, the £12 million package agreed with the Cottagers was a major one in the landscape of the Championship.
No other signing in the English second tier broke the eight-figure mark, while The Athletic‘s Philip Buckingham notes that “approximately £40 million was spent on transfer fees across the entire Championship.”
That means Wilson’s fee is worth over a quarter of the total spend across 24 clubs, with Fulham’s outlay on Wilson and Brazilian striker Rodrigo Muniz (around £8 million) covering 50 percent of the division-wide spending.
It shows the power of parachute payments for clubs relegated from the Premier League, and also Fulham’s faith in Wilson as a game-changing signing.
“Eight of the Championship’s 24 clubs did not commit to a single transfer fee this summer, with 126 players signing across the second tier either as free agents or on loan,” Buckingham adds.
“Only 37 deals are thought to have required an outlay to another club.”
It is a remarkable shift for a league that is widely considered one of the most competitive despite not being top flight, with the impact of the pandemic and loss in revenue laid clear.
Wilson has begun life at Fulham in strong form, scoring twice and assisting once in three games, having also sat out of two Championship fixtures due to a red card suspension.
Only Stoke’s Nick Powell has had a hand in as many goals from three outings, with 13 others directly contributing to more but having made at least one more appearance.
Three of those are Fulham players – Bobby Decordova-Reid, Fabio Carvalho and Aleksandar Mitrovic – with Marco Silva’s side sitting top of the table with 13 points from five games so far.
Their status as outliers in the transfer market across the second tier could certainly be seen as a gamble, but it could pay off big time if Wilson is playing Premier League football with the Cottagers next season.