SIX Championship stars to follow Poyet and Cresswell to West Ham

Player mobility from the Championship to the Premier League has taken a knock in recent years – whilst a host of players from abroad joined the top flight ranks last summer, only a handful were recruited from the English second tier.

But West Ham appear prepared to buck that trend. Keen to get business done early, Sam Allardyce secured the signing of Ipswich Town defender Aaron Cresswell last weekend, and a deal for Charlton prodigy Diego Poyet is expected to be officially announced soon.

But with the Championship considered to be the leading second division in world football,  why should the Hammers stop there? Accordingly, here’s a list of SIX second-tier stars that could follow Poyet and Cresswell’s lead by joining the Upton Park ranks this summer.

[ffc-gallery]CLICK ON DIEGO POYET TO REVEAL THE SIX

Diego Poyet[/ffc-gallery]

TROY DEENEY


Having claimed 54 goals in his last 127 Championship appearances, Watford striker Troy Deeney has been knocking on the Premier League door for some time.

That includes 24 goals last term, leaving the 26 year-old as the Championship’s third-top scorer, as seen below…

Championship top scorers

…and who can forget this extraordinary sequence of events against Leicester at the end of the 2012/13 campaign, securing the Hornets a place in the second-tier Play-offs…

… as well as this wonder strike against Charlton Athletic last season…

As well as being a potent goal scorer, the former Walsall star comes with a powerful presence. He measures in at 6 foot, possesses that all-important, ever-clichéd ‘big bum’, and averaged 3.6 successful aerial duels per match last term.

Deeney has been linked with a variety of top flight clubs over the last 18 months or so, but recent speculation suggests Burnley are currently his most interested suitors:

ROSS MCCORMACK

Ross McCormack
Another second-tier striker that should firmly be in West Ham’s transfer plans this summer is Leeds United talisman Ross McCormack.

Since joining the Whites in summer 2010, the Scotland international has claimed 53 goals in 140 Championship appearances. That includes 28 strikes in 43 outings last term, leaving McCormack as the Championship’s leading goal scorer. Here’s a look at all his goals from last season:

As well as finding the net on a regular basis, the 27 year-old comes with an impressive all round game. He can also feature in attacking midfield and often creates opportunities for others, as seen below:

McCormack creates

It’s no secret that McCormack is destined for the top flight, and looks to be heading there after handing in a formal transfer request at Elland Road:

The Hammers have already been linked to the £10million-rated striker…


But competition for his signature will be aplenty.

LEROY FER


Leroy Fer struggled to impact as expected during his debut Premier League season, with this controversial incident proving to be his most defining moment of the campaign…

But a former star at Feyenoord and FC Twente, few would dispute that the 24 year-old’s quality exceeds that of the Championship – he claimed over ten goals per season during his two campaigns with the Tukkers.

And just in case his suitors needed further confirmation, the Netherlands international netted the opener during a 2-0 win over Chile in the World Cup’s round of 16…

Furthermore, measuring in at 6 foot 2 and once lined up by Everton as a replacement for Marouane Fellaini, the Dutchman’s physically confrontational style would suit West Ham’s direct brand of football perfectly.

Word has it he’s a pretty good rapper too…

…and a real modern-day St. Nick…

But if Sam Allardyce wishes to bring this Lionel Messi incarnate to Upton Park…

…he’ll have to act quickly, with AC Milan strongly linked online:

SHAUN MALONEY

Scotland v Nigeria - International Friendly
At 31 years of age and having struggled to overcome a hip injury towards the end of last season, there are certainly less risky deals to be had this summer than a bid for Wigan Athletic’s Shaun Maloney.

But the attacking midfielder oozes class – he claimed six goals and nine assists during his last top flight campaign, including this wonder free-kick against Arsenal…

…and this effort against Manchester United back in 2012…

And despite spending much of last term on the sidelines, the Scotland international still produced decent form, as seen below…

Maloney form

Former Latics boss Roberto Martinez is reportedly keen to bring Maloney to Everton this summer…

But there’s still time for West Ham to register their interest in the former Celtic playmaker, and with just a year left on his current contract, could be lured away from the DW stadium at a discounted rate.

JAMAAL LASCELLES

Jamaal Lascelles
The Hammers are hardly short on quality at centre-back, but nonetheless, Nottingham Forest prodigy Jamaal Lascelles would be an impressive addition to the Upton Park roster.

Rumours of Premier League interest in the 20 year-old have been bubbling under the surface of English football for some time – Everton tried to tap him up way back in 2010…

But after finally breaking through to the first team at the City Ground last year, the England U-20 international appears to be finally delivering on his immense potential. Here’s a look at his defensive stats from last season…

lascelles stats

Often compared to a young Rio Ferdinand however for his mixture of athleticism, anticipation and quality on the ball, Lascelles has been linked to Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool to name a few in the past.

In regards to this summer however, QPR and Tottenham have already made moves to snap up the £5million-rated centre-back…

However, new Forest boss Stuart Pearce expects considerably more:

LEE CHUNG-YONG

Lee Chung-Yong
Once linked with multi-million moves to Liverpool and Manchester United after claiming the Player of the Year award, Players’ Player of the Year award and best Newcomer award during his inaugural season with Bolton Wanderers, Lee Chung-Yong’s career has taken a decisive backward step following a leg break in 2011.

But the 26 year-old midfielder’s sensational technical talent is being wasted in the hit-n-hope realms of the English second tier – he more than deserves to be rescued from the Reebok by a Premier League club. Here’s a quick look at his career highlights thus far…

Yong produced decent form for the Wanderers last season despite their disappointing league campaign, accordingly earning a place in South Korea’s World Cup squad…

Lee chung yong

…where he impressively finished a match against Russia with 100% passing accuracy…

Speculation earlier in the season suggested Hull City were planning a swoop for the Asian playmaker…

But with a deal yet to materialise and only a year left on Yong’s Reebok contract, there’s still time for the Hammers to snap him up in a cut-price deal.

 


Switch to Snack Football to browse all blogs, videos and new featured content
snack football unit grey closesnack football unit green-tick