EFL Championship 2019 XI - This team would dominate world football!

EFL Championship 2019 XI - This team would dominate world football!

27/02/24 06:00

The Championship is often full of young talent ready to be plucked by Premier League clubs and morphed into the some of the world’s best. But in 2019, the English second tier was particularly stacked, with some outstanding players. A team that if placed into world football right now, would dominate.

Goalkeeper - Emiliano Martínez - Reading F.C.

The only World Cup winner in this team, back in 2019, Emiliano Martínez was out on loan from Arsenal, at Reading. He was 26 years old and had been shipped out by the Gunners since 2012. The next season, he took his chance when Bernd Leno got injured under Mikel Arteta by winning the FA Cup.

In the summer of 2020 he signed for Aston Villa, going on to make many pivotal saves at the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

Left-back - Rico Henry - Brentford F.C.

Despite his current injury, Rico Henry has gone on to become a quality player for Brentford. He’d been with the London side for three years at this point and is now 26.

Centre-back - Fikayo Tomori - Derby County FC

Tomori has gone on to become a monster of the game. Winning the Scudetto with AC Milan and establishing himself as one of the best defenders in the Italian top-flight.

Back in 2019 though, he was out on loan from Chelsea at Derby County. Frank Lampard of all people was his manager for that 2018/19 season, when the Rams got agonisingly close to the play-off finals.

Tomori impressed in the Championship despite the promotion failure, and was a key figure for Chelsea the next season. Lampard took charge of the Blues for the first time and earned a UEFA Champions League spot with a young side.

In the summer of 2021 though, Tomori was no longer wanted at Chelsea, as AC Milan made him their newest defender. He’s been in Italy ever since.

Centre-back - Ben White - Leeds United F.C.

Ben White is now arguably one of the best right-backs in the Premier League for Arsenal. But in 2019, the baby-faced 21-year-old slotted into centre-back.

Leeds wanted to keep him after he helped them earn promotion to the Enlgish top-flight, playing every single game. But there was one major issue… White was on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion.

The Seagulls, transfer savvy as ever, saw the potential in White and kept him for one more season. That was before he signed for Arsenal for over £50 million and is now contending for top-flight titles under Mikel Arteta.

Right-back - Reece James - Wigan Athletic F.C.

Reece James was 19 in 2019 and was out on loan from Chelsea at Wigan. For the 2018/19 campaign, the Englishman claimed 45 league appearances with three goals and three assists.

These days, he’s one of Chelsea’s best players when fit and has been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid in the past.

Central-midfield - Mason Mount - Derby County F.C.

Who would’ve known, that Derby team under Lampard was full of such rich talent. Aside from Tomori, now Manchester United’s Mason Mount was making all the headlines with 14 goal contributions for the season at just 20 years old.

He became a Chelsea regular after this, going on to win the UEFA Champions League with Thomas Tuchel in 2021.

After a complete reshuffle though, Mauricio Pochettino allowed the midfielder to leave for the Red Devils for £60 million. Now under Erik Ten Hag, he’s certainly not living up to the potential he showed in the English 2nd tier.

Central midfield - Conor Gallagher - Charlton Athletic F.C.

Another Chelsea loanee at the time, Conor Gallagher was developing his craft with Charlton Athletic for the 2019/20 season.

His six goals and four assists wasn’t enough to survive the drop zone though, as he followed this campaign up with a loan out to Swansea City, and then West Bromwich Albion.

Crystal Palace in the 2021/22 campaign though was when he truly made a name for himself. Scoring eight and assisting three in the Premier League for that year, finally earning him a regualr spot at Chelsea.

Now, he’s arguably been the best player for Pochettino this season. But with a high wage bill and financial regulations to contend with, Gallagher could be one of the first shipped out.

Central Midfield - Jude Bellingham - Birmingham City F.C.

Before Jude Bellingham, it’s extremely hard to find a player that was with Birmingham City before Real Madrid.

Bellingham retired his first number of 22 at his boyhood club and went on to sign for Borussia Dortmund in the German Bundesliga. At the age of just 16, he’d earned Birmingham £26 million.

He cemented himself as one of the worlds best in Germany, until £88 million brought him to the most successful club the world has ever seen in 2023.

The now 20-year-old is the first name on the team sheet for both club and county. As a midfielder, he’s La Liga’s top scorer.

Left-Wing - Jack Grealish - Aston Villa F.C.

So far, Jack Grealish is the most decorated player on this list. Now at Manchester City, he’s won two Premier League’s, one FA Cup, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup and the Champions League to complete the 2022/23 treble.

2019 would be the final year Grealish graced the EFL Championship as Villa won the play-off final and stayed in the Premier League for the next two seasons.

In the summer of 2021, Grealish became the most expensive English player of all time, signing for Pep Guardiola’s side for £100 million.

Right-Wing - Jarrod Bowen - Hull City F.C.

In 2018/19 and 2019/20, Jarrod Bowen scored 38 league goals for Hull City. Marking himself as one of the most exciting prospects in English football.

On January deadline day of 2020, West Ham signed the forward for £18 million.

Who would’ve thought, that player from Hull would go onto score a Europa Conference League winning goal.

Striker - Ollie Watkins - Brentford F.C.

Ollie Watkins was just a goal off being the most clinical striker in the Championship for 2019/20. 25 goals was just one behind Aleksandar Mitrovic’s tally of 26.

The very next season however, Aston Villa made him their newest attacker for £22 million and reunited him with former manager Dean Smith.

This season though, now with Aston Villa, the 28-year-old could break Dwight Yorke’s record of 25 goal involvements for a single Villa Premier League campaign. Aside from Harry Kane, he’s arguably England’s second best striker.


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