Five U23 Championship players who deserve a move to the Premier League
The Championship isn’t the most glamorous league in the world but it just happens to be a great one for some of England’s best youth stars to grow and mature. Tough, physical and high-octane, it’s the perfect stepping stone to the Premier League and the pathway to greatness.
A lot of players have used it brilliantly in the past and players use it now as well. That being said, not everyone who succeeds at the Championship does well in the Premier League as there are exceptions to every rule.
However, this season has seen a few stars light up the Championship. A few of them have been playing out of their skins for the likes of Leeds United and Norwich City among many others.
A cornerstone of Norwich City’s incredible mid-season surge to the top of the table, the centre-back has been in incredible form from the minute go. Tall and versatile, the young 21 year old has often been used as a left-back or a defensive midfielder, flourishing in both positions.
But it’s as a centre-back that Godfrey does some of his best work, putting his stock frame to great use. In fact, Godfrey has improved a lot over the last few months.
It showcases just how good the young star is and he certainly has a long way to go.
The 23 year old has played 89% of Leeds United’s games this season and it shows just how important Philipps has been to Marcelo Bielsa’s style of play. Versatile like most of the players on this list, the Englishman has been used in a wide variety of positions and yet never complained.
More importantly, he’s done well as both a center-back and a defensive midfielder, although the latter is his preffered position. It’s from there that Phillips can rule over the midfield, thanks to a brilliant combination of brain and brawn.
His performances are a massive upgrade from what he was last season, with the 23-year-old flourishing under Bielsa. The former Argentina boss has brought out the best in him and that should earn him a move to the upper echelons in the near future.
The second Norwich City player on the list, Aarons is barely 19 and yet, he has already made 32 Championship appearances this season. A special talent in anyone’s eyes, the young right-back has made his mark this season in the lower leagues, with his effectiveness at both ends of the pitch.
Time will only improve Aarons. At the moment, he is far ahead of his age, flourishing under Daniel Farke’s tutelage. Furthermore, he is versatile enough to play either as a left-back or a right-back, showcasing skills time after time this season.
A young talent, Aarons will only grow from here on and definitely has the potential to play amongst the Premier League’s biggest sides, if not the elite teams.
What an absolute season Che Adams is having, leading the front-line for Birmingham City! The 22-year-old is at his lethal best, having scored 21 goals in 37 appearances. He only happens to be three goals behind the Championship’s leading goalscorer, Teemu Pukki.
However, that’s not all. The 22-year-old is the youngest among the top-three and the second-youngest among the top five scorers. It’s an incredible achievement for the young striker and one that should see him earn a move to a bigger side in the near future.
Consistency has been his biggest problem over the last few years, with Adams struggling to score regularly. But he has matured with Birmingham City and got his first double-figure mark in the Championship, with it being the first ever time he’s done it.
They will find it tough to keep their starlet in the summer but he should be able to command a relatively big transfer fee.
Easily amongst the most talented and creative stars in the lower tier, Grealish was Aston Villa’s best player by some distance last season. Injuries and various other issues have curtailed his progress this term but that hasn’t stopped him from making 24 appearances.
That only includes 8 goal contributions but the young midfielder is so much more than that. A lot like James Maddison, Grealish is an offensive player, who does some of his best work in the opposition’s half, and more importantly, in the final third.
A joy to watch with the ball at his feet, the 23-year-old is the oldest man on this list and his time in the Championship should be coming to an end.