The Premier League is the place to be, but the EFL Championship is one of the best football leagues in the world, and there are a whole host of top players plying their trade in England’s second tier. The Championship is arguably the most unpredictable and exciting division around and is hugely well supported.
Some players use the Championship as a stepping stone to the Premier League, while others work their way up from the lower leagues. The division is glittered with talent and here are the top five Championship players. These are sure to be on the radars of some EPL sides and could get their dream move in the January window.
Ismaila Sarr – Watford
When Ismaila Sarr arrived at Watford for a reported £30m, big things were expected of the Senegalese star. It has not quite worked out yet, as the Hornets have been relegated from the Premier League twice since his arrival. However, the 24-year-old has bags of potential to flourish in the Championship.
Sarr rose to fame when he netted a brace against Liverpool in the Premier League in February 2020. The 3-0 Watford win ended the Reds’ 44-game unbeaten run in the league.
In terms of transfer value, Sarr is right up there with the highest in the Championship. Can the exciting winger get the goals and assists to fire Watford to another promotion to the Premier League? Or will he get snapped up before then?
Joao Pedro – Watford
Sarr’s teammate Joao Pedro is also one of the best players currently plying their trade in the Championship. Pedro made the switch to Vicarage Road when Watford were last in this division and helped his side to promotion in his first season.
The attacker is not afraid to run at players, whether out wide or through the middle. Pedro shone in the Premier League at times last term, but the Hornets failed to stay up. The Brazilian is too good for the Championship and will surely be back in the Premier League, one way or another, in the not-so-distant future.
Ben Brereton Diaz – Blackburn Rovers
Ben Brereton Diaz has been in the form of his life for Blackburn Rovers over the past couple of years or so. Now a fully-fledged Chile international and cult hero, the former Manchester United youth player deserves his chance in the Premier League.
Diaz’s goals of late have turned Rovers into genuine promotion candidates. Last term, Brereton Diaz scored 22 Championship goals, with just Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dominic Solanke netting more. He was heavily linked with a move to the Premier League last summer, and it is surely only a matter of time until we see the Stoke-born striker grace the promised land.
Max Aarons – Norwich City
When Max Aarons broke on to the scene at Carrow Road in 2018, the full-back caught the eye right away. In January 2022, Aarons made his 150th appearance for Norwich in a Premier League match against West Ham United, which shows how far he has come in such a short space of time.
Keeping Aarons at Carrow Road as they push for yet another promotion to the Premier League will be high on Norwich’s priority list, but Aarons is destined for another crack at top-flight football. The former England U21 international is without question one of the best defenders in the Championship and offers plenty in attack too.
Josh Brownhill – Burnley
Josh Brownhill was mightily impressive for Bristol City from 2016 to 2020, with Sean Dyche bringing him to Burnley in the Premier League as a reward. The midfielder has been consistent and has become a vital cog in Burnley’s midfield machine since arriving at Turf Moor.
Brownhill can burst forward and has chipped in with some important goals. His passing is effective, and he can drop back and defend when called upon too.
The Clarets were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2021-22 season, with Brownhill featuring in 35 of their 38 league games. The Lancashire club look a good bet to make an instant return to the top flight under Vincent Kompany, and Brownhill will no doubt play a huge role in their success if they go on to secure promotion.