Football

Top 5: Championship players tipped for the Premier League

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Will Hughes conducts the midfield for Derby (©GettyImages)
Will Hughes conducts the midfield for Derby (©GettyImages).

The Championship has served as a great platform for future Premier League talent over the years.

See, for example, Tim Cahil or Phil Jagielka. With this in mind, let's take a look at five Championship players who look set to be Premier League stars some day soon.

Will Hughes

Probably the most hotly-tipped talent in the Championship, Will Hughes has the entire package a creative midfielder needs to succeed.

In particular, Hughes is able to find that key pass in the final third. You know the type the ball that dissects defences leaving centre halves and full-backs clawing at thin air - WhoScored.com has him averaging almost two key passes a game.

Linked with almost every top Premier League club over the last few transfer windows, it's a safe bet that Hughes will be stepping up into the top division at some point. The question is when - not if.

Derby fans will hope that Hughes's Premier League bow comes with the Rams. The upcoming transfer window could be a testing one, however.

Jordan Rhodes

Picking a striker that can step up from a lower class of league to the Premier League is notoriously difficult. For every Henrik Larsson who has true quality there is an Afonso Alves.

What matters, then, is not just the amounts of goals scored but the types of goals. Jordan Rhodes has scored goals both in quantity and quality.

On the quality side, Rhodes is able to smack them in from outside the box, but perhaps most importantly he has an uncanny ability to find the half a yard of space needed to blast off a shot in a crowded penalty. That is the sort of skill that allows you to make the step up to a higher level.

This season he has already reached 11 from 19 games in a very average Blackburn Rovers team. That's better than a goal every other game and Rhodes isn't a flash in the pan. He did the same last season in team that finished 17th and he banged then goals in for Huddersfield before that.

With a goalscoring record and talent like Jordan Rhodes has, a move to a Premier League team needing goals like Hull City would seem plausible to say the least.

Tom Ince

Tom Ince currently plays at Blackpool under his dad, former England midfielder Paul Ince.

A fast tricky winger, Ince was so highly rated by Brendan Rogers that after Liverpool released him Rogers attempted to sign him back. A deal couldn't be agreed, however, and Ince remained at the Tangerines.

This was great news for Blackpool as Ince went on to score 18 goals last year. This season Ince has impressed once again, notching up six goals in 13 games whilst setting up five more.

With his contract at Blackpool up at the end of the season, Ince has the option of just walking away on a free transfer. With his father the manager, however, one would think that should Blackpool win promotion he could be expected to hang around.

Either way you can expect to see Ince at a top flight team soon.

Aaron Cresswell

Playing left-back for Ipswich Town, 23-year-old Aaron Cresswell has already made over 100 senior appearances for The Tractor Boys - and 70 appearances in League One for Tranmere Rovers.

Such experience at a young age has certainly benefited Cresswell. A dead-ball specialist who is an excellent crosser of the ball, Cresswell is an attacking full-back in the mould of, but not yet of the same standard, Leighton Baines.

So far this year he has eight assists and two goals to his name.

Strongly linked with the likes of Aston Villa and Cardiff in the summer transfer window, it is surely just a matter of time before Cresswell lines up in the Premier League.

Anthony Knockaert

Anthony Knockaert is currently a crucial part of the Leicester City team that is challenging for automatic promotion this year.

Signing from French team Guingamp two years ago, Knockaert quickly established himself in The Foxes' starting 11, scoring eight goals in his debut season. This season Knockaert has kicked on averaging an impressive 2.6 key passes a game allowing players like David Nugent and Jamie Vardy to flourish.

A quick mazy winger who is able to deliver a cross also Anthony Knockaert has all the attributes to take the Premier League by storm.

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Topics:
Derby County
Championship
Football
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