January arrivals likely to light up Championship in second half of the campaign

Henri Lansbury

Henri Lansbury - Credit: PA

The transfer window has slammed shut until the summer and teams will now have to utilise the squads they have to achieve their goals. CHRIS BRAMMER studies the deals done in the Championship and reveals, in his opinion, the division’s top transactions

The 26-year-old has scored 28 goals in 129 Championship appearances for Watford, Norwich, West Ham and Forest, and has been the inspiration in a struggling team.

Out-of-contract in the summer, Lansbury’s value is likely to have been double the £3m Villa paid, at least, had he had longer to run on his deal at the City Ground.

A classy customer on the ball, Lansbury also has a bit of devilment in him which gives him an edge.

Lewis Grabban

Lewis Grabban - Credit: PA

Lewis Grabban – Bournemouth to Reading (season-long loan)

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Struggled to make an impact in the Premier League, but scored goals for Bournemouth and Norwich City in the second-tier of English football.

David Nugent

David Nugent - Credit: PA

Will be expected to snaffle up the chances created by widemen, Garath McCleary and Roy Beerens, as well as playmaker, John Swift and could be the difference between Reading winning promotion or not.

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David Nugent - Middlesbrough to Derby County (£2.5m)

Former England international Nugent has scored 93 goals in 306 games at Championship level.

Craig Gardner

Craig Gardner - Credit: PA

A long-term nemesis of Ipswich Town, his scoring record is phenomenal against the Blues, Nugent is a goal-poacher at Championship level, with plenty of guile, and represents a bargain in the current climate at £2.5m.

Will add even more firepower to a play-off-chasing team that includes the in-form Darren Bent, Tom Ince, Will Hughes, Bradley Johnson and Craig Bryson.

Craig Gardner - West Bromwich Albion to Birmingham City (season-long loan)

Matty James

Matty James - Credit: PA

Experienced Premier League campaigner who, at 30, has never played outside the top-flight until now.

Played with Birmingham in the top-flight, but has also been a consistent performer with Aston Villa and Sunderland.

Having scored 37 times in 321 career appearances, Gardner is known for his spectacular goals from long range and his box-to-box style.

Michael Kightly

Michael Kightly - Credit: PA

Matty James - Leicester City to Barnsley (season-long loan)

Former Manchester United midfielder has been incredibly unlucky with injuries since joining the Foxes from Manchester United, and missed Leicester’s entire Premier League-winning campaign with an anterior ligament injury.

Was ahead of Danny Drinkwater in the Leicester pecking order before his injury, the creative midfielder could make Barnsley fans quickly forget about Conor Hourihane, who has left to join Aston Villa.

Sergi Canos

Sergi Canos - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Michael Kightly – Burnley to Burton Albion (season-long loan)

The tricky winger, 31, came to prominence under current Blues boss Mick McCarthy, when he signed for Wolves from non-league football in 2006.

Made eight appearances for the Clarets this season, Kightly will add width and a goal threat to a struggling Albion side.

With Lloyd Dyer on the other flank and Jackson Irvine running from deep, the Brewers should create plenty of chances in the second half of the season

Jordan Rhodes

Jordan Rhodes - Credit: PA

Sergi Canos – Norwich City to Brentford (undisclosed)

Nineteen-year-old winger Canos returns to Brentford, where he enjoyed a fruitful loan spell last season.

His form at Griffin Park, the Spaniard scoring seven times in 39 games, prompted to Canaries to buy him for seven-figures, from Liverpool, last summer.

Scott Hogan

Scott Hogan - Credit: PA

Direct, fast and with an eye for a goal, could help fill the void left by Scott Hogan and the injured Alan Judge.

Jordan Rhodes - Middlesbrough to Sheffield Wednesday (loan, then undisclosed fee)

Still hard to believe that former Ipswich Town youngster Rhodes is only 26, the ambitious Owls swooping to sign the Middlesbrough striker on loan – the signing will be made permanent in the summer for around £10m.

Should guarantee goals and joins a squad that already boasts goalscorers Fernando Forestieri, Gary Hooper, Sam Winnall and Steven Fletcher.

Scott Hogan – Brentford to Aston Villa (£9m approx)

Arguably the Championship’s most in-form striker, Hogan is joining a Villa side that is keen to make a late play-off assault.

Should hit the ground running at Villa Park, having scored 21 goals in his last 33 Championship appearances.

Young prospect who worked his way through non-league before signing for Rochdale, Hogan plays off the shoulder and is full of confidence.

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