Despite the fact that we are just three days removed from the beginning of the Premier League season, clubs still look for ways to shake up their squads via the transfer market. They often look to the EFL Championship for useful players and this window is no exception. Players like Matthew Cash, Eberechi Eze, and Antonee Robinson, have already made the move from Championship to Premier League, but there are still a number of players in the league could be of interest to several Premier League clubs.
There is a plethora of talented players in what’s often described as one of the physically toughest soccer leagues in the world, and we have put together a list of five Championship players that are ready for a move to the Premier League.
Kristian Pedersen — Birmingham
The Danish left back was a mainstay for Birmingham this past season. Contributing both defensively and offensively, Pedersen is one best at his position, and a key figure for the club as they just about avoided relegation. Among all left backs in the league, he ranked second and third, respectively, in total tackles and interceptions, while also contributing four goals and two assists. He’s an adept crosser of the ball and exploits space well, boasts remarkable positional awareness and likes getting stuck in when needed. On his best days, Pedersen is without a doubt a Premier League quality left back, and perhaps a change of scenery would help him. “It’s no secret that we had planned on Birmingham being a stepping stone for Kristian ahead of something bigger, especially now that Birmingham haven’t lived up to the expectations,” Pedersen’s agent, Ivan Marko Benes, said over the phone.
Potential Premier League destination: Leeds, West Ham, and West Bromwich
Potential transfer fee: $8 million
Christian Nørgaard – Brentford
The defensive midfielder made his debut for Denmark in their Nations League game against England on Tuesday and showcased, why he among Brentford’s most important players. Nørgaard is deployed as the deepest of the three midfielders in Thomas Frank’s 4-3-3 system, usually alongside Josh Dasilva and Mathias Jensen. His most important role is to link the play between defense and attack, dropping deep to receive the ball before progressing forward. Nørgaard is an ingenious passer of the ball, always looking for ways to set up his teammates. Furthermore, the Dane is defensively very reliable. He reads the game superbly and having won the ball, he is adept at quickly passing forward to set up a counterattack, a prominent feature of Brentford’s offensive strategy. Among all players in the league, he ranked second and fourth respectively for total tackles and interceptions. He would be a dream purchase for a team with fast and direct attacking players.
Potential Premier League destination: Southampton, West Bromwich and Fulham
Potential transfer fee: $20 million
Saïd Benrahma — Brentford
Without a shadow of a doubt, the most entertaining player to watch in the Championship this past season was Saïd Benrahma. The numbers speak for themselves. Finishing with 17 goals and nine assists, Benrahma led the Championship in shots per game, was second in completed dribbles per game, and seventh in key passes. He was used as a left wing in Thomas Frank’s 4-3-3 system, where he was given creative freedom to move around the pitch, though he often found himself cutting onto his right foot and shooting from the edge of the box. His technical ability is out of this world and far better than his peers in the Championship. Rumors have already circulated that Benrahma will be moving to a Premier League club this transfer window, but nothing concrete is yet to be confirmed.
Potential Premier League destination: Tottenham, Arsenal, and Aston Villa
Potential transfer fee: $40 million
John Swift — Reading
The former Chelsea academy player, John Swift had a brilliant season at Reading. Scoring six goals and contributing 10 assists, he helped the club to a respectable mid-table finish. Despite his surname, Swift isn’t among the fastest of players, but is still great at progressing the ball. He often likes to go deep to pick up the ball, before either spraying a cross-field pass or advancing and playing a through ball. Defensively there are two sides to Swift. He likes to press high and try to win the ball far up the pitch, but is also exceptional at closing down passing lanes. Furthermore, Swift is a leader and likes to guide his teammates during a match, a key trait for a commanding midfielder.
Potential Premier League destination: Southampton, Sheffield United, and Brighton
Potential transfer fee: $8 million
Rico Henry — Brentford
Rico Henry was the best left back in the Championship in the past season. The 23-year old was a key player for Brentford in their promotion push and was perfectly suited to play behind Benrahma. Henry is defensively astute, rarely makes mistakes, and was often left in 2-on-1 situations due to Benrahma’s limited defensive contributions. Offensively, his role was to stay on the left-hand side and create space for Benrahma. Frequently, Henry overlapped his winger and looked to cross from the byline. This led to three assists throughout the season, a number that may increase should he get a larger role offensively.
Potential Premier League destination: Brighton, West Ham, and West Bromwich
Potential transfer fee: $12 million