Five Players Who Could Make the Step Up From the Championship This Summer

Five Players Who Could Make the Step Up From the Championship This Summer

12/05/24 16:01

The EFL Championship remains one of the most prestigious leagues in all of European Football. It has been a breeding ground for some of the country's most talented footballers. Respected for its gritty, yet exciting style of play it has seen the likes of Jarrod Bowen, James Maddison and Ollie Watkins bridge the gap between itself and the Premier League in recent times.

Here are five current Championship players who have what it takes to make the step up and could be on the move this summer.

Jacob Greaves

The Englishman has stamped his authority on the Hull city back line across the past four seasons. Still only 23, Greaves has played 171 times for the club becoming one of the league’s best defenders.

Greaves, an academy graduate of his boyhood club has been the standout in what has been a disappointing season for the Tigers as they missed out on the play-off places.

Regarded for his aerial presence combined with a concise ability to read the game and a passing ability unfamiliar with big English centre backs, Greaves has certainly got what it takes to succeed in the Premier League. With Hull playing championship football next season it seems inevitable that he will be snapped up this summer.

West Ham and Everton are said to be sniffing around for his services.

Ben Sheaf

An Arsenal academy product who spent almost seven years at the Gunners now plying his trade at Coventry.

The dynamic midfielder was crucial in the Sky Blues impressive FA Cup run which saw them miss out on the final through penalties.

Sheaf ran the show against Manchester United at Wembley and rightly earned his plaudits after the game but his performance was nothing out of the ordinary for his standards.

The midfielder, who has represented England at youth level has been the key to Coventry’s success of late in the Championship but his side narrowly missed out on the play-offs this season.

Sheaf recently won the fans and players’ player of the season for his current club.

At 26, he won’t want to be wasting his best years in England’s second division so a move is surely on the cards this summer.

It has been rumoured that Coventry would be willing to let their star man leave for £15 million amid interest from several Premier League clubs.

Sammie Szmodics

The division's top scorer with 27 goals. Szmodics was nominated for Championship player of the season after rescuing Blackburn from the prospect of relegation to League One.

The Irishman, born in England has had the season of his life and earned his first international cap for the Boys in Green.

Organically an attacking midfielder, Szmodics won the golden boot for 19th placed Blackburn scoring almost half of their league goals.

Blackburn have reportedly slapped a £25 million price tag on their star man which could deter a potential move to the Premier League given that the talisman turns 29 this year.

But his talents speak for themselves and Sammie has proved his worth scoring goals against Newcastle, Leicester, Ipswich and Leeds this season.

There’s no questioning his ability, but will any Premier League sides be willing to splash out for his services in the summer window?

Jack Clarke

Sunderland have had a season to forget finishing just six points above the relegation places in a campaign where three different managers have stood and failed in the dugout.

But in a year of hurt, Jack Clarke stood out for the Black Cats scoring 15 league goals.

The English wide man is only 23 but has had some career so far. Making a name for himself at Leeds as a teenager, Spurs snapped him up in 2019 for £10 million.

But the move didn’t quite work out and after being sent on several loan spells he found success in the North of England with Sunderland.

While he produced better numbers last season, Clarke has stepped up for Sunderland becoming one of the senior players in such a young side.

Mature beyond his years, Clarke will surely want to prove that he can make the step up to the Premier League after his torrid time at Tottenham.

Jordan James

A rogue inclusion on this list, Jordan James has shown a lot of promise in a relegated Birmingham side.

The teenager has been dubbed Wales’ best thing since Gareth Bale after a solid campaign for the Blues.

Another midfielder with an eye for goal, he has scored eight goals this season playing a deeper role.

James also earned his first Wales call up in 2023, a season of accolades in such a disappointing season for his club speaks volumes of the type of player James can become.

Having been courted by Atalanta during the January window, the Welshman has now got Premier League teams on high alert after Birmingham were relegated from the Championship.

The West Midland club rejected an £8 million bid from the Italian outfit but James could be available at a cut price this summer as he will be desperate to escape England’s third division.


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