Premier League football is a month or so away from coming to an end, with some clubs currently chasing for a top four finish whilst the others are aiming to escape the relegation zone before it is too late.
With the summer transfer window being just a few months away, most of the teams will definitely be looking at the familiar names within the top five leagues to purchase. However, no harm would be done if many of the mid-table sides are scouting the lesser-known players in the divisions below the top flight.
It’s no secret that the transfer fees continue to rise massively summer by summer, especially for the talented players from the Championship, though it shouldn’t put many of the big teams in the Premier League off, as many of the rising gems and youngsters have proved their crucial worth so far this season.
The quality of the Championship and League One football may not be on the same level as the Premier League, but players from the second and third tier have shown how good they are at the top level of English football in recent years, with the likes of Dele Alli, James Maddison and Joe Gomez being the perfect examples to have gone on to do well at their respective clubs.
Here are the five players who are impressively talented and could become unplayable at the highest division of English football, if they are to reach that level through promotion or a huge transfer move…
Che Adams – Birmingham City
Being one of the five players to have bagged over 20 league goals in just less than 40 Championship starts, Che Adams is currently enjoying his third season at Birmingham City, which is proving to be his most prolific one till date. At the age of 22, the Leicester-born forward has a long career ahead of himself, as he is already showing his rising ability to score from open play as well as from his favoured right foot.
Scoring 22 of Birmingham’s 58 league goals so far this campaign, he has kept his team above the relegation zone practically on his own, which already clearly shows how much of an impact he has been at St Andrew’s and under manager Garry Monk over the last six to nine months. And following his recent contributions, he has begun to gain the attention and recognition for a number of Premier League clubs.
Known for his incredible pace and his amazing eye for goal, he is also able to work hard defensively along with his team-mates whilst completing the required tackles and tactical fouls when required. Having already being reportedly linked with a huge move to the top flight of English football, a potential move to the likes of Leicester City, Southampton or West Ham may make sense for his long-term career plans.
Conner Roberts – Swansea City
Since his senior debut for Swansea City in 2018, Conner Roberts has been a regular starter for the club this season and has been earning all the rewards he deserves, after spending a number of years in the youth academy as well as the unsuccessful loans at Bristol Rovers and Middlesbrough. Now, he is playing week in and out at right-back and has also achieved nine appearances for Wales over the last year or so.
Over the last couple of years, English football has evolved to the next level and improved tactically, where the full-backs are starting to play a crucial role on both sides of the pitch and are proving to be a main factor in offering another dimension to the team’s attacking ideas. On that note, Roberts looks to be doing the same for Swansea so far this term, as he has managed to achieve five goals and one assist.
Roberts has completed 46 key passes so far this season and has produced the same amount as league goals as attacking midfielder Bersant Celina, which makes him Swansea’s second-highest creative threat within the final third of the pitch. If he continues to remain consistent defensively and attackingly, he could easily become a wanted man ahead of the summer window, as the lack of quality right-backs in the Premier League is starting to become a huge concern.
John Egan – Sheffield United
It is never easy to find a good defender in the Championship, whether it is a centre-back or a full-back, because the defending in this division compared to the Premier League is a few standards below. However, Sheffield United’s John Egan has proven to be one of the best defenders in the Championship, having played a colossal job in help the Blades to have the second best defensive record in the league.
Before making his move to Sheffield last summer, Egan previously got going at both Brentford and Gillingham, where he gained the experience as well as the game time to become a good centre-back that allowed him to play for a club with more ambition and higher aspirations. Standing at 6ft one inch tall, he has the presence to be aerially dominant on both sides of the pitch, especially through the set-pieces.
For sure, he may not seem as an ideal candidate to make a move to any of the teams in the top half of the table, due to those clubs already having better players and individuals with more potential. However, the likes of Bournemouth, Burnley and Newcastle United could do with his leadership and presence at the heart of defence, where he can literally get the best out of the backline as well as the rest of his team.
Said Benrahma – Brentford
The league’s current top player in terms of assist is none other than Said Benrahma, who will be hoping that his 14 assists as well as his 10 crucial goals will allow his team to finish in the top half of the table at the end of the season. After moving away from the reserve team of Ligue 1 side Nice, last summer, the Algerian has now found a place where he play to his potential and in a team that is based around him.
Although Benrahma’s contributions have been appreciated by quite a lot of people, his displays for the club may be forgotten if Brentford end up being unsuccessful with their aim of picking up maximum points or somewhere along 16 to 18 league wins as a whole. Either way, the 23-year-old will have caught the attention of many by now, as he looks to have reached the early peak days of his football career.
Possessing the intelligence and understanding to play down the flanks as well as in the number ten role, Benrahma would without a doubt not find it hard to handle the physical style of play against the Premier League midfielders and defenders. When you see the likes of Felipe Anderson, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Ryan Fraser having a solid season, it will surely motivate him to finally make that big move to the top flight.