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Championship stars ready for the Premier League test

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Championship star, Chuba Akpom. Photo/Middlesbrough
  • The Championship has for years provided stars with tons of quality who have lit up in the Premier League.
  • We look at five second-tier talents who seem poised for the Premier League test.

There are many Championship talents that succeed in the Premier League despite persistent allegations that there is a class divide between England’s top two divisions.

There is a ton of quality in the second division right now, and a few players have drawn interest from the top flight following successful Championship campaigns.

We look at five second-tier talents who seem poised for the Premier League test, excluding those who have just been relegated.

Alex Scott – Bristol City

Championship star Alex Scott. Photo/Liverpool Echo

Following his selection as the 2022–23 EFL Championship Young Player of the Season, midfielder Alex Scott has caught the attention of Premier League teams thanks to his achievements.

Since joining Bristol City from non-league Guernsey, where he established himself as one of the most intriguing players outside of the top flight, Scott has made a significant impression. Last season, the midfielder for Bristol City only had one goal and four assists, but those numbers only represent a small portion of the player’s abilities.

Due to his precise control and awareness, Scott was the most frequently fouled player in the Championship last season. The 19-year-old easily avoids challenges in the middle of the field while gliding past obstacles.

He pushes effectively, has great defensive statistics, is knowledgeable enough to play many positions, and exhibits a level of calmness unusual for a player of his inexperience. Wolves, West Ham, and Bournemouth are all rumored to be interested in a deal, while teams like Liverpool and Tottenham have kept tabs on his performances this season.

Viktor Gyokeres – Coventry City

Following yet another outstanding season at Coventry City, Viktor Gyokeres is a name that numerous Premier League teams have on their want lists. The Swedish international has made 97 appearances for Coventry over the past two seasons and has scored 41 goals. After leading The Sky Blues to the play-off final the previous season, he was selected to the Championship Team of the Season.

Viktor Gyokeres has been a standout for Coventry City yet again, and several Premier League teams have him on their want lists. The international player from Sweden has played 97 times for Coventry over the last two seasons, scoring 41 goals. He was named to the Championship Team of the Season the season before after leading The Sky Blues to the play-off final.

Gustavo Hamer – Coventry City

Gustavo Hamer. Photo/Coventry City

After playing a significant part in the team’s progress to the play-off final, Gustavo Hamer is another member of Coventry’s outstanding squad who has caught the attention of top-flight teams.

From a central midfield position for The Sky Blues, Hamer scored 11 goals and provided nine assists, performance that has Premier League teams interested.

Despite lapses in self-control, the midfielder from Brazil moved to Coventry in 2020 for a cost of more than £1 million from PEC Zwolle. He shares the same 12-month contract duration as Gyokeres, and Coventry’s loss in the play-off final has prompted teams to hunt for the competitive edge and originality that Hamer can provide.

Chuba Akpom – Middlesbrough

One of the storylines of the Championship season was Chuba Akpom‘s eruption at Middlesbrough, a season in which everything came together for the graduate of the Arsenal youth.

In his first two seasons at Middlesbrough, Akpom scored just five goals in 39 games. Throughout his nomadic career, which has included stops at Greece and Belgium, the forward has never scored more than eight league goals in a season.

The 27-year-old, who scored 28 league goals and was named Player of the Season in the Championship, put together a brilliant season to propel Michael Carrick’s team into the playoffs.

However, Akpom’s contract expires in 2024, and Boro triggered to automatically extend his term by another season.

Joel Piroe – Swansea

Joel Piroe. Photo/ Swansea city

Another striker that top-flight teams are considering is Joel Piroe of Swansea, who has been a consistent scorer for the past two seasons in South Wales.

The Dutchman thrived in the second division with 41 league goals in 88 appearances after joining Swansea in a £1 million trade from PSV Eindhoven. Swansea finished 10th in the standings at the end of the previous year, missing out on the playoffs. Since then, manager Russel Martin has left for Southampton, while important players Ryan Manning and Joel Latibeaudiere have left on free agency.

Piroe might consider moving on and stepping up a level if a rebuild is necessary. A new manager may use the money from the sale of the 23-year-old’s contract, which has 12 months left on it, to rebuild the team.

I am an ardent sports enthusiast interested in writing about football, motorsport and athletics.

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