Championship Stars of Tomorrow

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Often the Premier League has delved into England’s second tier in search for the stars of tomorrow in the Championship.

Over the last decade, the Championship has continued to evolve at an alarming rate. The notion of parachute payments has only increased its competitiveness and there is more money than ever before in England’s second tier. These additional funds and the development of digital technology has only bolstered the league’s status in global football and is widely recognised as one of the most entertaining divisions in European football.

The Championship has often been an ideal market for the Premier League to poach from. And, despite the seemingly hefty price tags that come with such players, it has often worked out for all parties involved.

A number of talented and exciting prospects made the step up from the Championship to the Premier League ahead of the 2020/21 campaign, with Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins and Crystal Palace’s Eberechi Eze being just two names that have caught the eye already in the top flight┬ásince their summer moves.

In such a lucrative market, it seems that the Championship will continue to feed its superior. Here are four names that are lighting up the Championship, and who will be attracting the attention of the Premier League.

EFL Championship Stars of Tomorrow

Jason Knight – Derby County

At just 19-years-old, Jason Knight is cementing his place in Derby County’s starting team with a number of excellent recent performances. His ability to drive with the ball and commit defenders has seen him emerge as one of the brightest talents in the Championship. His desire and work ethic has also impressed County’s player-coach Wayne Rooney, who said that the young midfielder reminds the former Manchester United man of himself when he was younger.

The young Irishman has featured in all of Derby’s opening nine games and has recently progressed into a deeper role in the centre of midfield. He is also nearing his 50th appearance for the Rams, an incredible achievement at such a young age.

Rodrigo Riquelme – Bournemouth

There has been a lot of hype around Rodrigo Riquelme since his arrival from Atletico Madrid and is a player that will excite fans with his pace, trickery and his direct nature in going forward. At 20-years-old he has his career ahead of him and despite being on-loan from Atleti, an impressive season with the Bournemouth could force them into making a bid come the end of the season.

The Spaniard has only managed to play 25 minutes of football since joining, but he has already managed to make a significant contribution. Riquelme rescued a point for his Bournemouth side at the weekend when he volleyed home in the 81st minute to ensure the Cherries kept their unbeaten recored intact.

Bryan Mbeumo – Brentford

The young French international is the last remaining player of the devastating BMW attacking trio that helped demolish teams in the 2019/20 Championship campaign. Unsurprisingly, the Premier League came calling for Brentford’s attacking talent, but Bryan Mbeumo was not part of the speculation.

The 21-year-old was involved in 23 goals in the last season’s Championship, scoring 15 and assisting a further eight. Despite Said Benrahma and Ollie Watkins departing this summer, Brentford remain clinical in front of goal. Mbeumo has a goal and five assists to his name and is relishing having Ivan Toney at the end of his crosses.

Ben Wilmot – Watford

Young centre-back Ben Wilmot has slotted into Watford’s defence with ease since returning from a couple of loan spells away from the club. After a spell at Udinese in a holding midfield role, it now seems that he is becoming a settled central defender for the Hornets. Vladimir Ivic has opted to play the 20-year-old on the left-hand side of a back three, with his excellent ability on the ball a huge factor in his emergence into the first team.

The Hertfordshire-born defender spent last season with Swansea City and instantly established himself as a fans’ favourite with a derby day winner against Cardiff City. He has now started seven of the first nine games for Watford and is establishing himself as an integral part of Ivic’s side.

 

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