The Championship has always been an intriguing division with strong competition, making it one of the toughest leagues to predict in world football. Nearly every season, there is a surprise package alongside a youngster with bags of potential alerting the Premier League’s giants in the process.
In previous campaigns we have seen Steve McClaren’s young Derby side light up the division, alongside a number of memorable performances from talented youngsters aiming to make their way in the game, much like Jude Bellingham, who has gone on to impress in Germany with Borussia Dortmund. Then there are players like Dan James who traded Championship football at Swansea for a massive move to Manchester United, alongside talented duos like Brentford’s Said Benrahma and Ollie Watkins, who earned big moves to West Ham and Aston Villa respectively. Ebere Eze is another name to make the top flight step up after impressing at QPR last season, so too is right-back Matty Cash who joined Aston Villa from Nottingham Forest.
This season, summer moves could be on the cards for a number of Championship youngsters who have stood out. Here is a look at five prospects many big clubs could be casting an eye over as we speak.
Danny McNamara – Millwall
A surprise inclusion to some, no doubt, but Millwall fans haven’t stopped raving about Danny McNamara since he was recalled from a loan spell at St Johnstone in January. As pointed out in MansionBet’s list of the best ever Millwall players, many superb talents have donned the blue and white, and right-back McNamara appears to have the potential to match them. After signing a new deal in February, the youngster is clearly rated by the Lions. A big-money offer could be on the horizon, especially if he keeps on performing the way he is for one of the Championship’s surprise packages of the season.
Michael Olise – Reading
One of the most technically gifted players in the division, Michael Olise has been an integral part of Reading’s impressive campaign. At the age of just 19, the former Chelsea and Manchester City trainee is capable of producing magic moments and unlocking defences with delicious reverse passes. A technician with bags of skill, Frenchman Olise is destined for the top. Will he get his move this summer, though?
Jason Knight – Derby County
After being handed the captaincy by Derby boss Wayne Rooney this campaign, word started to spread about Jason Knight’s undoubted potential. Compared to the likes of Roy Keane, the hardworking 20 year-old is an Ireland international with a massive future. Premier League clubs are watching.
Bryan Mbeumo – Brentford
It has been impossible to ignore Ivan Toney’s goalscoring exploits at Brentford this season, but youngster Bryan Mbeumo has also shared the load somewhat. At the age of 21, the former Troyes frontman is a tough customer with bundles of pace. A key part of the much-talked-about Brentford trio alongside Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma last season, Mbeumo received a nomination for the EFL Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year at the 2020 London Football Awards. A big move beckons, it seems.
João Pedro – Watford
Brazilian starlet João Pedro arrived at the club in time for the Hornets’ Premier League relegation battle last campaign, but he didn’t get the chance to impress. This season, though, the talented striker is leading the line for the Hornets in what has been a big season for the club. Dubbed by many as the new Richarlison, Watford will do well to keep hold of the wonderkid who is already interesting the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona.