The Championship – ‘Stars in the Making’

bruntPremiership clubs have a tendency to look abroad for signings and the lower flights of English football are often ignored by the bigger teams as they doubt the abilities of the lower league players to make the step up. Whilst there are plenty of players who have looked great in the Championship or lower leagues who have failed to make an impact in the top flight there are success stories – Joleon Lescott, Tim Cahill, Phil Jagielka, Daniel Gabbidon, and more recently the likes of Scott Dann and Roger Johnson have all moved from Championship teams to Premiership clubs and made names for themselves quickly and efficiently, proving that the gap can easily be bridged. So who are some of the current stars of the Championship then who could make the move up if Premiership clubs showed an interest?

Kris Commons (Derby)

Commons is very highly rated in the Championship and has been linked with several Premiership clubs recently. The former Nottingham Forest man offers a lot of attacking creativity and has a hell of a shot on him – as he showed against Manchester United in the Carling Cup last year. Commons is already 26 and has never played a Premiership game but that’s no indication of whether he could make it or not – Commons possesses the drive and attacking verve that would suit a smaller Premiership club well and it would be interesting to see him in the top flight if given the chance.

Joe Ledley (Cardiff)

The Wales international is still just 22 and already has five years of first team experience to his name. Ledley’s spent his entire career to date at boyhood team Cardiff and has consistently been one of their best players. Ledley can play in central midfield or on the left of midfield and offers good support going forward with great ball delivery whilst he also doesn’t mind helping his defence out. He’s out of contract in the summer and there’s no reason a Premiership club shouldn’t give him a chance.

Mark Beevers (Sheffield Wednesday)

The 20 year old may have not appeared much this season due to injury problems but Beevers has already established himself as a very good young player with performances beyond his years over the last few seasons for Wednesday. Good in the tackle and in the air, Beevers is definitely one to watch out for as he’s an Englishman with a fine future ahead of him.

Adam Johnson (Middlesbrough)

Homegrown talent Johnson is the reason Boro haven’t missed the departed Stewart Downing; the young winger is fast, tricky and boasts fancy footwork. He’s already been linked to powerhouses like Chelsea and Real Madrid and it would be no surprise to see Johnson gracing the Premiership sometime soon.

James Morrison (West Brom)

Scottish international Morrison has already played in the Premiership with both Boro and West Brom but recently the speedy midfielder has began looking a much better player than we’d previously seen from him. Morrison runs at defenders fearlessly, passes well and has a good shot on him – everything needed for an attacking midfielder. Plus, he’s versatile – Morrison can play in central midfield, an advanced role or on the right wing. Pretty useful really.

Chris Brunt (West Brom)

When West Brom went down last season few of their players could keep their heads high after a particularly poor season. One man who could though was Northern Ireland international Brunt who proved the Baggies’ best player by a long, long way. Nothing’s changed and Brunt has continued to terrorise defences, though this time in the Championship. Definitely good enough for the Premiership and clubs should look to sign him up during this transfer window as he’d be a bargain buy.

Andy Carroll (Newcastle)

Okay so he’s a striker who has few goals to his name, but Carroll is an imposing 21-year-old with physical attributes that would make a fine battering-ram type forward like Kevin Davies. Except that Carroll is likely to be a better player than Davies. Carroll’s strength isn’t just that he’s big but he’s also good at holding the ball up, has good footballing vision and works very hard. Newcastle have already rebuffed advances from several clubs but can they continue to hold out against Premiership interest?

Marvin Elliott (Bristol City)

A consistent, hard working midfielder with a lot of grit and good team spirit. Elliott may not be the most skilful player out there but sometimes you don’t want your players to be trick ponies and just want them to get down to business – this is what Elliott does and he does it well. He’s been linked to the Premiership before but City are unsurprisingly unwilling to sell. Could go if City get offered a decent price though and he could make the step up look easy.

These are just some of the many Championship players who Premiership teams should be considering a move for; Championship players are usually reasonably priced and often prove success stories. In fact, when players do make the step up they usually succeed unless they’re strikers who often fail to keep their scoring going. If the likes of Keith Andrews can come up from League One and impress then the stars of the Championship can do just as well in the Premiership, I guarantee it.