EPL | Huddersfield makes first big transfer splash with Mooy

Australia's Aaron Frank Mooy, right, celebrates after scoring the first goal against China during the East Asian Cup men's soccer match in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, July 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
Ahn Young-joon/AP photo

Newly promoted Huddersfield Town has paid a club-record fee to sign Aaron Mooy from Manchester City. The Australian international spent last season on loan at Huddersfield.

The 26-year-old midfielder will cost the Terriers an initial fee of £8 million, but it could reach as high as £10 million based on other contingencies. Mooy played a key role for Huddersfield this past season as the team reached the Premier League through the qualification playoffs. He scored four goals and added seven assists in league play, and he will remain at the club until 2020. The club also has the option of extending the deal by a year.

“Everybody who has watched our team in our promotion season knows how huge it is to have Aaron back at the club as we enter the Premier League for the first time,” manager David Wagner said. “I’m sure our fans will be very happy to see him back.

“As I said many times last season, Aaron was right at the heart of our team. When he played well, we usually played well — and won.

“His performances for us understandably brought a lot of interest in him this summer, so it is a big statement that Aaron wants to return to us.

“I think he understands that playing so regularly for us at a good level improved his game too, and now he has the chance to be a regular in the Premier League, something that is very exciting for every player.”

Mooy was the third signing so far for Huddersfield as it tries to prepare for life in the Premier League. The team has signed a couple of strikers in Elias Kachunga from FC Ingolstadt in 2.Bundesliga and Laurent Depoitre from FC Porto in the Portuguese top flight. Kachunga also spent last season on loan at Huddersfield, where he scored 12 league goals in 42 appearances.

There’s still a lot of work to be done before the team is ready for a grueling Premier League season. The Terriers finished the Championship season in fifth place with 81 points in 45 games. They only scored 56 goals, and were the lone team in the top 10 in the standings that had a negative goal differential (minus-2). The club will be hoping that Kachunga can keep scoring goals and that Depoitre gets back to the form he showed while playing for Gent in the Belgian Pro League after a disappointing season in Portugal with FC Porto.

With a long list of proven players on the free-agent market, Huddersfield should be able to bolster its squad without breaking the bank. It will see a huge influx of cash after reaching the Premier League, but if the club isn’t careful, it could end up like Leeds or Queens Park Rangers, who spent too much and found themselves in the Championship with a much too expensive squad.

Making Mooy’s stay with the club permanent is a smart move, as it keeps the core of the team intact. With no real possibility to see any playing time with Manchester City, it’s also a smart move for Mooy, as he gets to play a big role and get significant minutes in the Premier League.

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