Earlier this week, the Championship announced the Team of the Season for 2016/17, with promotion chasing quartet Brighton, Newcastle, Huddersfield and Leeds claiming ten of the eleven decorated slots.
In recent years, the Premier League has probably overlooked second-tier talent a little too much; we easily forget it’s the most lucrative and most watched second division in world football, and arguably the most competitive as well.
Whether they’re looking to keep their heads above water yet again in the top flight next term or hoping to return to it at the first time of asking, the Championship could be a fantastic source of recruitment for Sunderland this summer – so where better to start than the Team of the Season?
With that in mind, we asked Black Cats fans earlier this week to vote for which TOTS members David Moyes should swoop for during the summer transfer window. The results of our exclusive poll are now in, so here’s a rundown of the top three…
Huddersfield have been the Championship’s surprise act this season and midfielder Aaron Mooy, on loan from Manchester City, has played a crucial role. The Aussie midfielder has bagged three goals and five assists in 36 Championship outings, whilst providing 2.6 tackles and 2.1 created chances per match. Huddersfield will no doubt be interested in signing the 26-year-old permanently but that could well depend on their Premier League status. Unlikely to earn a place in Pep Guardiola’s plans, Sunderland have a good chance of landing him this summer.
Lewis Dunk has been rated as one of the best English defenders outside of the Premier League for some time, having established himself in Brighton’s first team during their League One days and since gone on to become a permanence in the starting lineup after overcoming injury problems. The 25-year-old has been in fantastic form this year, helping the Seagulls claim the second-best defensive record in the Championship whilst showing real quality on the ball. Now nearing 150 Championship outings, he’ll be desperate to play in the Premier League next season.
An incredibly popular choice with a 32-vote winning margin, it’s no surprise to see Anthony Knockaert top our poll. The French winger has been nothing short of phenomenal this season, playing a hand in nearly a third of Brighton’s Championship goals, and is emerging as the near unanimous choice for the Player of the Year award. If the Seagulls don’t claim promotion this season, they may face an impossible challenge in trying to hold onto the 25-year-old attacker during the summer.