Brentford have shown this season that you don't need to spend big to bring in quality.
Brentford's first season in the second tier of English football since 1992 has gone extraordinarily well, with the Bees in 6th position and very much in with a chance of being in the playoffs come the end of the campaign.
Much of the credit for this has to go to the manager Mark Warbuton, who has built a team that plays quality passing football on the deck that is a delight to watch - and to the scouts who have brought in some great talent at affordable prices. Here are three of their outstanding purchases in the summer.
Jose Ignacio Peleteiro Ramallo, to give him his full name, is everything you'd expect from a continental attacking midfielder - Alice band in his hair, twinkling feet and a spark of creativity on the pitch, along with a catchy nickname on the back of his shirt. Yet it would be disingenuous to write him off in such a fashion; much of what Brentford does right flows through the Spaniard's boots and his return of seven goals this season, including a spell where he scored in four consecutive games, shows his class.
Picked up for an undisclosed sum in the summer from Celta de Vigo, he spent last year helping SD Eibar to promotion to La Liga from the Spanish second tier, scoring 11 times in 35 appearances. If Brentford can't make the top flight this year I wouldn't be surprised to see a Premier League team pick him up; at 23 he still has his best years in front of him and he has adapted well to the English game.
Making the step up from the Conference to the Championship isn't easy but 23-year-old striker Andre Gray has done just that. With the exception of four league appearances for Shrewsbury as a teenager, Gray has spent his career in the Conference North and Conference Premier. However, having banged in 30 league goals for Luton Town last season Brentford splashed out half a million pounds on the striker to take him to Griffin Park where he has continued to excel, scoring 12 times in his debut season in the second tier in 34 league appearances.
A strong, bustling striker, Gray has scored at frequent intervals, including a spell of seven goals in eight games throughout November and December. Time is on his side and if he can continue this sort of form into next season he could well break into the top flight - with or without Brentford.
Signed for £1million from Leyton Orient, right winger Odubajo has become a mainstay in the Brentford side. Although his goal return of two doesn't match that of the other two players mentioned in this article, according to Opta, Odubajo has three assists, 22 accurate crosses and 38 attempted assists in his 34 appearances this season.
At only 21, the Greenwich-born winger has time very much on his side to improve and build on his performances. Making his starting debut at 19 for the O's, Odubajo played 93 times for Leyton Orient, scoring 13 goals, before moving to Griffin Park after missing only two league games in two seasons - showing consistency which will stand him in good stead for the future.