Over the years, the Championship has produced a handful of English ‘wonderkids’ who have gone on to set the Premier League alight.
It has been seen to happen this season. Danny Ings, who was prolific in the Championship last season, has found his goalscoring touch for Burnley in the Premier League.
Wilfried Zaha shone two seasons ago as Crystal Palace achieved promotion. The youngster then went on to complete a reported £10 million move to Manchester United.
However, since than Zaha has yet to be given a fair chance. He currently finds himself on loan to his former club.
So the question I wish to know the answer to is: who is going to be the next Championship star to make the step up?
In terms of goalkeepers, there are not many in the Championship that have not had a shot at a Premier League club. Marcus Bettinelli of Fulham, is one who has not.
The 22-year-old has shown great composure since taking over from the experienced, Gabor Kiraly, in goal. He looks to be a great shot stopper whilst having incredible distribution and could be around for many years to come.
Talented young defenders are one of the hardest things to find in the game. Reading on the other hand have managed to unearth academy product, Michael Hector.
Hector, still has plenty to learn at the young age of 22, but at 6’4’’, the young Englishmen is blessed with incredible physical attributes.
Sheffield Wednesday pinched young centre back, Tom Lees, from Yorkshire rivals Leeds United this summer. It has been a move which has benefited both Wednesday and Lees.
Tom Lees has been at the heart of one of the best defences in the league this season. At the young age of 24, Lees has already made over 200 league appearances. This combined with his knowledge on how to read the game, means that the young lad from Yorkshire’s future looks bright.
A name that has been frequently linked with moves to Premier League sides is Will Hughes. At the age of just 19, Hughes has almost made 100 appearances for his boyhood club, Derby County.
The young man is confident with the ball at his feet and always looks to create an opportunity when in possession. If Derby fail to gain promotion this season, they may have a fight on their hands to retain Hughes’ services.
Another name frequently linked with Premier League clubs is Blackburn Rovers striker, Jordan Rhodes.
Rhodes, for the past five seasons has been in top three goal scorers in either League One or the Championship. Goals are in his DNA. He looks to be one of the most clinical finishers around. Rhodes has a ratio better than a goal every other game and now needs the opportunity to perform on the big stage.
When many people saw Nottingham Forest had brought Britt Assambalonga for a reported fee of £5 million, it was fair to say the reaction was fairly harsh.
Assambalonga, however currently tops the Championship goal scoring charts with 12 goals. His hard work and drive to succeed has allowed him to comfortably make the step-up from League One to the Championship.
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