The very essence of the football league pyramid is built around progression. Progression that enables those in the depths with an opportunity to dream of reaching the summit. Subsequently, League One is often deemed the primary market for Championship clubs to explore during transfer windows.
In a second-tier campaign where the tried and tested have seemingly failed in the goalscoring department, those forwards shining in League One will be on the radar of a whole host of clubs in the higher division. In fact, this season marks the lowest goals per game figure in over 10 years of Championship action, perhaps signalling that some major changes in forward personnel is on the horizon for those sides struggling to find the back of the net.
With just a single game left of this season, eight out of the 24 Championship clubs are averaging less than a goal a game – a worrying statistic for the clubs involved. The fact that clubs in the second-tier are also significantly impacted by budget constraints, means that the four League One strikers mentioned may be the ultimate priority for such clubs.
Four League One Strikers Who Should Be Playing Championship Football Next Season
Sitting on 25 league goals this season, Charlie Wyke has been instrumental to yet another promotion push at Sunderland. The 28-year-old struggled to win over fans in the early stages of his career in Wearside, but a combination of his 18 league goals this calendar year, and his intelligence both in and out of possession, has seen the former Bradford City man emerge as one of the division’s brightest sparks this season.
Of course, Wyke could be a Championship player with Sunderland next season if they were to win the play-offs. However, the forward may be ruled out of the run-in – a situation that would seriously hamper their chances of finally breaking out of the third tier.
Dominic Scurr of the Sunderland Echo mentioned in late April that there were four Championship clubs interested in Wyke. Cardiff City, Middlesbrough, Millwall, and Nottingham Forest, were the reported teams interested in the forward’s services, with all four clubs holding play-off ambitions for next season.
The rise of 25-year-old Dion Charles has been remarkable over the last couple of years. Coming through the ranks at Blackpool, the striker found first-team opportunities hard to come by and was confined to a number of years of non-league football. Charles began last season with National League North club, Southport, before joining Accrington Stanley.
Despite moving up three divisions, Charles adapted to third-tier football seamlessly and was reaping the rewards of being deployed through the middle, rather than on the wing. With 19 goals to his name, he finds himself fifth on the goalscoring charts this season – a magnificent achievement from a player who was an unknown entity just two years ago.
Derby County have scored a mere 33 goals this season. A figure that is not acceptable for a club who are as talented and ambitious as they are. According to Steve Nicholson of Derbyshire Live, The Rams are one of three Championship sides interested in Charles, with Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town also competing.
Plymouth Argyle have been relatively poor in recent weeks, but Luke Jephcott’s emergence and subsequent competence in the country’s third tier has caught the attention of a number of Championship clubs.
The Pilgrims’ recent struggles has coincided with 12 starts without a goal for the 21-year-old, but for the most part, Jephcott has been mightily impressive in his first full season of regular action.
Possessing a natural goalscoring touch, the 21-year-old has 16 league goals this campaign and has earned the reputation of being a forward who is beyond his years regarding his intelligence in attacking scenarios.
Jephcott has benefitted immensely under Ryan Lowe’s leadership. His attacking movement and ability on the ball will justify a summer move to the Championship, and with a high number of clubs looking for attacking reinforcements, the recently called-up Welsh international will be high up on their respective priority lists.
In a career that had involved numerous loan spells, Joe Pigott finally settled at AFC Wimbledon. Since arriving in Southwest London in 2018, the 27-year-old has scored 47 times, including 20 league goals this campaign.
Pigott’s goalscoring capabilities, coupled with his physical presence and intelligent play, has deservedly caught the attention of higher level opposition. The forward is out of contract in the summer and according to Steve Nicholson of Derbyshire Live, several Championship and promotion chasing League One clubs are after his signature.