Six Championship players worthy of Premier League stardom

Another dramatic Championship season is over, with Nottingham Forest triumphing at Wembley to secure a long-awaited return to the Premier League.


Steve Cooper’s side will join Fulham and Bournemouth in the top-flight but all three clubs will need to make additions to their squads if they are to survive in the fight against relegation.


The Championship is an obvious place for them to shop and established clubs could also dip their toe in the market hoping to unearth the next Jarrod Bowen.


Here are six Championship players who are worthy of moves to the Premier League this year.


Lewis O’Brien – Huddersfield Town


Town were two marginal VAR penalty calls away from returning to the Premier League, but all-action midfielder O’Brien will surely be given the chance to play at the higher level.


The 23-year-old has been linked with Leeds United, who were reportedly keen on him last summer but ended up not tabling an offer.


O’Brien has burnished his reputation further with another stellar campaign in the second tier and an offer of around £10 million may be enough to tempt Town into selling the academy product.


Djed Spence – Middlesbrough


Spence was a star for Forest in their promotion season but Cooper’s side reportedly do not have a clause in his loan to complete a permanent move for the 21-year-old.


Manchester United and Tottenham are among the giants credited with an interest in the right-back, who made his debut for England’s Under-21 side earlier in the year.


It has been a rapid rise for Spence, who was out of favour at Boro last summer but now looks set to earn his club a huge fee by leaving the Riverside Stadium.


Chris Willock – QPR


Joining QPR in 2020 has proven a smart move for Willock, who came through Arsenal’s academy but was unable to make the grade at the Emirates.


Scoring seven goals and providing 11 assists for Rangers this season is likely to have alerted Willock to a number of Premier League clubs, especially as his contract runs out in 2023.


QPR have an option to extend that deal by a year, but a big offer could tempt them into a sale.


Viktor Gyokeres – Coventry City


Sweden striker Gyokeres had a stunning season for the Sky Blues, netting 17 Championship goals and finding the net in his last two appearances to end the campaign on a high.


The 23-year-old also chipped in with five assists in 47 appearances in all competitions for Coventry, who face a battle to hold on to a player they only signed permanently a year ago.


Gyokeres is said to be a target for Fulham with Coventry boss Mark Robins braced for bids.


“I think he has all the physical attributes for that and he’s scored 18 goals in his first full season in the Championship so there will definitely be people looking at him from the Premier League, one hundred percent,” he said recently.


Jed Wallace – Millwall


Available on a free contract this summer, winger Wallace has been offered fresh terms by the Lions but could well have offers from the Premier League.


The 28-year-old provided 12 assists and scored six times in another consistent Championship campaign, with Forest having been linked with Wallace during the January window.


After seven seasons at Millwall, Wallace might well view this summer as the right time to move. West Brom – who have landed John Swift from Reading on a free transfer – have been linked with Wallace but Premier League teams needing creativity should have him on their radar.


Joel Piroe – Swansea City


Only Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dominic Solanke scored more Championship goals than Piroe’s haul of 22, so the attacker is likely to be hot property during the summer transfer window.


Piroe cost Swansea a reported £1 million when he joined from PSV Eindhoven but the Dutchman made an immediate impact in the Championship and looks cut out for elite football.


Swansea boss Russell Martin has confirmed Piroe is not interested in discussing a new contract, with Leicester City among the teams credited with an interest in the 22-year-old.


Leicester have shopped successfully in the Championship before, bringing in James Maddison from Norwich City, and the Foxes appear to be first in line to try to seal a deal for Piroe.

Author: Tamara Kim