The top five signings in the Championship this season, including Andre Gray and Fernando Forestieri

Our round-up of the best signings of the season includes players from Burnley, Sheffield Wednesday, Bristol City, Preston North End and Derby County.

Championship clubs have loosened the purse strings this season in an attempt to break into the top flight in time for the new television deal. It is a calculated gamble, but one that might backfire if promotion isn't achieved. However it has resulted in a fantastic array of quality players now plying their trade in the second tier of English football.

Here's a look at the top five signings made in the summer who have had a great impact in the first half of the season:

Andre Gray - Burnley

Andre Gray has performed as you would expect a £9 million signing to do so in the Championship. After a prolific campaign with Brentford last season, Sean Dyche felt as if Gray would be the man to fire them back into the Premier League. He has done a good job so far with 13 goals to his name already, with 12 of them remarkably coming at Turf Moor. Whilst his transfer fee was incredibly high for this level, it is still admirable how dramatic Gray's rise has been. Aside from four appearances as a youngster for Shrewsbury Town in 2009, the 24-year-old had never played in the Football League until last season.

Fernando Forestieri - Sheffield Wednesday

Sheffield Wednesday were able to splash a bit of cash this summer due to their new owners and the pick of their signings has been former Watford player Fernando Forestieri. The Italian playmaker has instantly made an impact for The Owls scoring 10 goals in 18 games in the first half of the season and propelling Wednesday towards the play-off places. Forestieri helped Watford achieve promotion last season and will be hoping to repeat that feat once again. The settling in process has been made easier for the 25-year-old as he was joined at the club by two other Watford players in Daniel Pudil and Lewis McGugan.

Jonathan Kodjia - Bristol City

Kodjia helped Angers SCO to promotion from Ligue 2 in France last season also picking up the league's player of the year award in the process. The transition to English football has been a smooth one for the striker as he currently leads the goalscoring charts for The Robins. Despite the clubs relegation worries at the moment, Kodjia has scored nine goals in the first half of the season; 41% of Bristol City's total league goals.The powerful striker is certainly a force to be reckoned with and has caused problems for leading defences in this league.

Jordan Pickford - Preston North End

Although only a loan signing from Sunderland, goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has proved to be an invaluable member of the Preston North End team. He has contributed to 12 clean sheets in 24 games with The Lilywhites having one of the best defensive records in the country. He has now established himself as first choice for the England Under 21's and looks set for a bright future in the game. Preston fans have been impressed with his shot stopping as well as his passing ability. Pickford has a good eye for picking out some passes that Andrea Pirlo would be proud of. Sam Allardyce may be about to cut short his loan spell, and Pickford would certainly be ready for Premier League football.

Jacob Butterfield - Derby County

Butterfield has been an important part of Paul Clement's side as The Rams look to return to the top flight for the first time since 2008. The midfielder joined from Huddersfield Town in August and is enjoying his spell at Derby. The style of play incorporated by Clement allows the former Barnsley and Norwich City player to have a lot of time on the ball, and he is more than willing to try a few trademark long range efforts. The 25-year-old has managed four goals for The Rams this season and one with Huddersfield before his move. Derby have an array of fine midfielders at the club, but with injuries to Will Hughes and Craig Bryson, Butterfield has stepped up to the plate. 

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch