The Championship is one of the toughest leagues in the world - the rewards of Premier League football are so lucrative, every team dreams of one day mixing it with English football's elite.
The football is of good quality, the fixture schedule is extremely rigorous and passions run high every week, as any team is capable of beating any another on their day. This is the perfect place for England’s next top talent to learn their trade.
Recent England debutants Ross Barkley and Andros Townsend enjoyed loan spells in the Championship. Tom Cleverley, Jonjo Shelvey and Kyle Walker also spent time out on loan in English football's second tier, before breaking through as regular Premier League performers, which got them noticed at international level too.
This season, there are a number of players on loan from Premier League clubs, who have been stand-out performers for their club so far in the Championship.
Let’s take a look at the Championship Loan XI.
GK- Jack Butland
Jack began the season at his new club Stoke. He had spent the last two seasons impressing in the Championship with Birmingham, but attempting to dislodge Asmir Begovic as the number one is a daunting prospect for anyone.
At the end of September he joined Barnsley on loan until January. With the Yorkshire club sitting bottom of the Championship, it’s certain Jack will get plenty of action there and will be hoping to put in a few solid performances, before he returns to his parent club.
RB – Adam Smith
After coming through the Spurs youth academy, Smith has used to loan system to work his way up through the divisions. He has proven himself to be a good Championship right back, after a very successful season with Millwall last campaign.
This time round he has gone to Derby County and will be their first choice right back as they push for a spot in the playoffs.
CB – Reece Wabara
New Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has already emphasised the potential Reece has been showing by stating that he will be offered a new long term contract at the Etihad.
He starred for Oldham in their FA Cup run last season and has shown good form for Doncaster in the Championship this time round. He is set to be recalled back to Manchester in January when he could be given a chance in the first team.
CB – Kyle Bartley
Kyle has had a pretty patchy career since coming through the youth ranks at Arsenal. He enjoyed two successful loan spells with Rangers, before joining Swansea after they were promoted.
He failed to gain a first team spot last season, but this summer he joined Birmingham City on loan. The Blues look to be in for a long, hard season battling relegation, so Bartley’s quality and experience could prove to be vital.
LB – Jack Robinson
Blackpool have been the surprise package of the Championship so far and the Liverpool youngster has played in almost every game.
He is tenacious, strong and very good on the ball and with Liverpool struggling to find a consistent left back, Aly Cissokho and Jose Enrique are battling it out for that position, Jack is surely a regular for them in the future, maybe even next season if he continues to impress.
CM – Nathaniel Chalobah
Jose Mourinho was keen to keep Nathaniel at the club this season, even giving the youngster a new contract, but after impressing in the Watford midfield last season, he wasn’t content with playing in the reserves.
He joined Nottingham Forest in September and slotted straight into their first team. There is no doubt that he will be a Premier League centre back in the future and playing in midfield now can only be good for his footballing education.
Rio Ferdinand, Vincent Kompany and Gerard Pique all played in central midfield when they were younger and they have turned into world class defenders, hopefully Chalobah can follow suit.
CM – Ryan Tunnicliffe
Ryan was a regular for Peterborough last season and his combative style won a lot of admirers. He has gone to Ipswich this season in the hope of building on his rising reputation.
He is the kind of midfielder both Manchester United and England could use to great effect, only time and will tell if he’s good enough.
AM – Nick Powell
Sir Alex Ferguson saw enough in this lad to sign him at Old Trafford. He had an injury hit time in the reserves last season, but joined Wigan this summer and has put in a number of good performances in both the Championship and Europa League.
If he is given the ball in the right areas, he can cause some serious damage as he is technically as good as anyone in that division and he will only get better, the more games he gets under his belt.
AM – Josh McEachran
Josh’s promise has been exciting Chelsea fans for a number of years now. He has made the odd appearance for the first team, but needs a regular starting place before he can really flourish.
He worked with Brendan Rodgers for a season at Swansea, which would have been very beneficial even though he didn’t play much.
Last season he stood out at Middlesbrough and is now doing well again in a technically gifted Watford side - Mourinho will be keeping close eye on him as he continues to grow as a footballer.
AM – Tom Carroll
Andre Villas Boas sees huge potential in Tom, as does ex-Spurs boss Harry Redknapp, who has taken him on loan for the season, as QPR look set to return to the Premier League at the first attempt.
His creative flair and passing ability makes him a hugely influential figure in any midfield he steps into. He’s physically very strong too, which is a great attribute to have in English football. Maybe if QPR do go up then Harry will try and get him for another season, but one thing is for sure, Carroll is destined to play in the Premier League.
ST – Jesse Lingard
After scoring a hatful of goals in pre-season for Manchester United, Lingard had hoped to be able to follow in Adnan Januzaj’s footsteps and break into the first team, but that didn’t happen and he was loaned out to Birmingham City.
He scored four goals on his debut and has followed that up with a few more really good performances. He is quick, good with both feet and has a real eye for goal.
He is not an out and out striker, preferring to pull out onto the flanks where he can run at defenders, but he does have huge potential and maybe playing up front would be his best position in the future.
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