Premier League debutants Huddersfield Town broke their transfer record on Friday to sign Australian international midfielder Aaron Mooy from rivals Manchester City.
The 26-year-old — whose initial fee of £8million (9.1m euros, $10.3m) could rise to £10m — played a pivotal role, while on loan from City, in Huddersfield gaining promotion for the first time to the Premier League.
Huddersfield secured their place by beating Reading on penalties in the play-off final to join Newcastle and Brighton in going up.
“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,” said Huddersfield manager David Wagner.
“I’m sure our fans will be very happy to see him back,” added the 45-year-old German, who was head-hunted from the Borussia Dortmund reserve manager job in November 2015.
Wagner — who prior to taking the Huddersfield role was thought keen to join his close friend and former Dortmund head coach Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool — also put pen to paper on Friday agreeing along with his assistant and compatriot Christoph Buehler, 43, new two year contracts.
However, Huddersfield owner Dean Hoyle conceded if his side had not won the penalty shootout Wagner could easily have left as he had been subject to offers from abroad as well as other English clubs.
“I’m realistic as a chairman and if that penalty had not gone in at Wembley then David would probably have gone on to bigger and better things, maybe in the Premier League,” said Hoyle at a press conference.
“I could have lost David. That would have been a real shame after what we created, but that’s life.
“But we achieved the dream.
“Last season there was interest in David, both domestic and foreign, but David stayed loyal to the football club and that means a lot to me.”
Wagner for his part said he was under no illusions as to the size of the task facing them in the Premier League.
“We’re not stupid,” said Wagner, who was capped eight times by the United States qualifying through his father being American.
“We’re probably the biggest underdog ever to start in the Premier League.
“We know this. Does it change that we are ambitious? Nope. We are not in the Premier League to say ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ after one season. We want to stay there.”
Source: The Punch