Top Championship Players To Watch This Season
Here’s a look at the top Championship players to look out for ahead of the start of 2013/14 Championship season this weekend!
The Scottish striker cost Fulham a spell-binding £11 million, or over half a Toni Kroos, when he signed from Leeds United, and will be under immediate pressure to justify his exorbitant price tag. He did score 28 league goals last season but will need to maintain this form if The Cottagers are to return to the top flight at the first attempt. He is 9/1 to retain his Championship Top Scorer crown.
However the favourite, at 6/1, is Blackburn Rovers’ Jordan Rhodes who bagged 25 goals last term. Rhodes himself was the subject of an eyebrow-raising transfer free when he joined Rovers from Huddersfield Town for £8 million two years ago.
His prolific form since has seen him linked with a number of Premier League clubs but he’s recently signed a new five-year deal at Ewood Park. Despite his form, Rovers are just ninth favourites at 16/1 to win a highly competitive division.
The Italian never lived up to his wonderkid tag at Manchester United and, at 22, the time has come for the striker to prove himself at new club Cardiff City, who are 7/1 favourites to claim the title. He had a number of unsuccessful loan spells while at United at the likes of Stuttgart and Doncaster Rovers but he enjoyed a relatively successful spell at Birmingham City in the second half of last season.
At St. Andrew’s he notched ten goals in just ten starts and his new boss, and former reserve team manager at Old Trafford, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will expect Macheda to justify his faith in his former charge.
The 19-year-old attacking midfielder has been one of the most sought-after talents in the Football League in recent years but has just penned a new four-year deal at Derby County. Hughes scooped the Football League Young Player of the Year award last season and also made the Championship Team of the Year.
With The Rams second favourites for the title, Hughes will be hoping to display his prodigious talents in the Premier League sooner rather than later. Should Derby fail to get promoted this term, expect the youngster to grace the top flight in 2015/16, despite his recent contract extension. The likes of Liverpool and Manchester City have been tracking his progress with interest.
The likes of promoted Burnley and Leicester City have been linked with the striker all summer, having seen his devastating finishing at first hand in the Championship in recent seasons.
Deeney has been made captain this season at Vicarage Road, a responsibility that seemed unlikely when he was sentenced to ten month’s imprisonment as recently as 2012. He seems a reformed character but Watford will find it hard to turn down an expected £10 million improved bid from Leicester.
McArthur has emerged from James McCarthy’s shadow, since the latter’s move to Everton last summer, to become a pivotal figure in Wigan Athletic’s midfield. The 26-year-old has followed the same career path as McCarthy, joining the Latics from Hamilton Academical, and it’s a surprise that he hasn’t followed his close friend back to the Premier League.
Burnley were linked with the player earlier this summer but he seems committed to another season with Uwe Rosler’s side as they aim to regain their top flight status as the second time of asking.
The young defender’s sale, along with team-mate Karl Darlow, to Newcastle United has caused consternation at Nottingham Forest with boss Stuart Pearce insisting the deal had been done without his consent.
The one consolation for Pearce is that they will both be loaned back to Forest for the coming season. Lascelles has been highly-rated since his progression through Forest’s youth ranks, with Arsenal having a £5 million bid rebuffed when he was just 17. The composed centre-back is considered one of the best young defenders in the country and has been tipped for full international honours with England if he continues his impressive progress since breaking into Forest’s first-team at 18.