The Championship is a league that is showcasing more and more quality as each season progresses with teams spending millions in order to ensure that they can reach English football’s lucrative top flight. This increase in ability throughout the lower tiers of the English footballing pyramid has resulted in an increased amount of players getting signed for Premier League sides as they look to ensure survival, or push into the higher reaches of the league. A number of the best talents in the division including Callum Wilson, Matt Ritchie, and Troy Deeney have already made the step up with their respective sides. This increase in quality has also led to a massive increase in fees spent on players – the sort of massive fees that are usually reserved for top division players. Ross McCormack and Leonardo Ulloa are main examples of this growing trend with fees accompanying them of £11m and £8m respectively.
There are a number of players who have already made the move up to the Premier League following strong seasons for their clubs and despite their own failure to reach the top flight through promotion – they have achieved a lucrative move to new pastures.
Tyrone Mings, 22, Full-Back, £8m to Bournemouth
A fan-favourite at Portman Road following a strong season on the pitch and acts of generosity off it. A tall and powerful player who has been linked with a move to more established Premier League clubs than the Cherries, who will certainly be fancying their chances of building a strong back line following the arrival of Mings. Eddie Howe himself has commented on the “huge potential” that Mings holds and with youth on his side – it is easy to see why fans may expect the ex-Chippenham Town man to become a key part of their inaugural Premier League campaign.
Adam Federici, 30, Goalkeeper, Free Transfer to Bournemouth
Another Bournemouth recruit, Australian stopper Federici will no doubt be best remembered by fans for his unfortunate error that resulted in Reading’s exit from the FA Cup Semi-Final against Arsenal at Wembley. However, Federici was recently voted Reading’s player of the season and has become a favourite among Reading fans for his ability to show great athleticism and keep his side in games. If he is given a chance to be the number 1 at Bournemouth he could prove to a fantastic signing for Eddie Howe as they enter their debut season in the Premier League.
Joe Gomez, 18, Full-Back/Centre-Back, £3.5m to Liverpool
A graduate of the impressive academy at Charlton, Gomez was handed his Championship debut just 3 months after his 17th birthday and has gone from strength to strength ever since. Gomez has the perfect combination of a cool-head and great athleticism which allow him to look like a seasoned pro despite his young age. A player who loves to have the ball at feet and moves it in a disciplined manner with great ease. A natural centre back who is largely expected to go out on loan, his ability to play right back will lead him to feel that he can follow in the footsteps of fellow Londoners Raheem Sterling and Jordan Ibe in establishing himself as first team regular at Anfield.
There are also a number of players that are linked with possible moves to the Premier League who haven’t quite seen deals materialise for their services as of yet following the inevitable rumour mill during the off-season.
Jota, 24, Attacking Midfielder, Brentford
A key part of Brentford’s playoff push last season, who had some great performances following his move from Celta Vigo of Spain in August 2014. A lively and skilful player, with a definite eye for goal scoring 11 goals in 46 appearances for the Bees. There has been some interest coming from the likes of Bournemouth and Leicester in securing his signature and he could certainly prove himself to be a very productive signing for anyone who managed to get the Spaniard in their squad.
Bakary Sako, 27, Attacking Midfielder, Wolves
Available on a free transfer following the expiry of his current deal at Wolves. The Malian international has gained a reputation as fearsome opponent due to his direct running and imposing athleticism and will certainly still be haunting a few Championship defenders’ dreams as he helped himself to 15 goals during the course of the season. Widely tipped for a Premier League move with manager Kenny Jackett expecting the PFA Championship Team of the Year player to move on from Molineux this summer. Sako could certainly offer a great deal to a top flight club if he is allowed to roam the midfield and can replicate his form from the 2014/15 season.
George Friend, 27, Full-Back/Centre-Back, Middlesbrough
Another inductee into the most recent PFA Championship Team of the Year, Friend has been constantly under transfer speculation since his move to Teeside in 2012. One of the most capable players in the division, Friend has consistently shown high quality performances particularly in the 2014/15 campaign as he played a key role in the Middlesbrough’s run to the playoff final where they were defeated by Norwich.
Daryl Murphy, 32, Striker, Ipswich
It would be hard not to include this man as he has been scoring goals for fun this season finishing with a very impressive 27 goals in the Championship. At 32, the Republic of Ireland international is certainly no spring chicken – but it is hard to argue that his goal-scoring talents could be of assistance to a number of top flight sides. Murphy most recently featured in the Premier League with Sunderland in 2010 and may see this as his last opportunity to play in English football’s top tier.
Keiren Westwood, 30, Goalkeeper, Sheffield Wednesday
Another Republic of Ireland and Championship Team of the Year inductee, Westwood has shown some exceptional form to see himself become one of the standout goalkeepers in the Championship. A terrific shot-stopper known for his great reflex saves, Westwood also has some top-flight experience already under his belt from his time at Sunderland – Westwood could find himself surrounded by some interest during the remainder of the off-season progresses.
Chris Martin, 26, Striker, Derby
A lethal goal-scorer who has gone from strength to strength in the last couple of seasons. A strong and physically dominant forward who this season was rewarded with several Scotland caps by manager Gordon Strachan. Martin scored an impressive 18 goals in the 2014/15 campaign despite injury problems, and at 26 could offer the best years of his career to a Premier League side who would have to pay a sizeable sum to secure his signature from Derby County.
Will Hughes, 20, Midfielder, Derby
A terrific young talent from the Derby academy who has shown terrific ability beyond his years since his debut in 2011/12 season. An excellent passer who possesses a terrific ability to read the game, Hughes is a regular in the England under 21 setup and has been tipped by many to become a future England star. Derby have Hughes under contract until 2018 so it would take a sizeable fee to lure him away from the iPro Stadium, but it could prove a good investment for a Premier League side with the likes of Spurs reportedly interested in the services of Hughes.
Feel free to comment with any players who you feel this article should have included or players from your side that you think would be deserving of a move into the Premier League in the near future.
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