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Seven Championship Players Who’d be Perfect Premier League Deadline Day Signings

by Andy Ryan

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Bargain hunting in the Championship. Some top notch talents at Cardiff, Nottingham Forest, Preston, Crystal Palace, QPR, Portsmouth and Derby County well worth investing in.

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As the deadline approaches, frantic managers call everyone in their phone book, beg their chairman for “just a couple more million” and watch videos of “the next big thing”.
Here a few players from England’s second tier who they could think about. I’ve avoided players who simply aren’t going to be sold (e.g Adel Taarabt) and players for whom a deal seems nearly done (e.g. Marc Wilson).

Lee Camp (Goalkeeper, Nottingham Forest)

Why buy?
While all the focus has been on Watford’s Scott Loach, Camp is perhaps the division’s best shot-stopper. He was named Forest’s Player of the Season last year.
Any reasons to be cautious?
He is not the most confident under high balls.
Can a deal be done?
Possibly. Camp is a key player but Billy Davies’ frustration at lack of transfer funds could lead him to sell in order to raise cash.
Would be good for . . .
Fulham. With Schwarzer on the way out, Camp would provide healthy competition for David Stockdale.

Sean St Ledger (Defender, Preston)

Why buy?
A defender who consistently shows a composure far beyond his youth. Has international experience with Ireland.
Any reasons to be cautious?
His brief and troubled stay at Middlesborough raises questions about his abilty to adapt to a new environment.
Can a deal be done?
A good chance. Preston’s financial problems would force the club to listen to any offer.
Would be good for . .
Wigan could do with reinforcements at the back.

Kris Commons (Midfielder, Derby County)

Why buy?
All-action midfielder who has long had his admirers. Has made an excellent start to the season.
Any reasons to be cautious?
Has had problems with injuries.
Can a deal be done?
Possibly. Derby will be very reluctant to lose him but the fact that his contract expires at the end of the season will force them to listen.
Would be good for . .
Blackburn, who still look a touch short of creativity in the middle.

Michael Brown (Midfielder, Portsmouth)

Why buy?
His physical style is not easy to like but he is an effective midfield general with vast Premier League experience.
Any reasons to be cautious?
At 33, he’s not a long-term purchase.
Can a deal be done?
Definitely. With Pompey still in administration, Brown is there for the taking.
Would be good for . . .
Blackpool or any team preparing themselves for a relegation scrap.

Mikele Leigertwood (Midfielder, QPR)

Why buy?
A powerful player capable of providing a shield for the back four. Reports last season suggested that his performances were attracting Premier League interest. Can also play in defence.
Any reasons to be cautious?
Offers little creativity.
Can a deal be done?
Possibly. With the arrival of Sean Derry, Leigertwood has found himself on the bench this year. He might be getting restless and Neil Warnock could be tempted to cash in.
Would be good for . . .
West Brom

Jay Bothroyd (Striker, Cardiff)

Why buy?
Pacey and powerful, Bothroyd is a beast of a centre-forward. Though he is scoring freely at the moment, he is perhaps most effective as the foil for a more natural goalscorer.
Any reasons to be cautious?
Had little success during his previous stays in the top flight but he does look a far better player now.
Can deal be done?
Possibly. With his contract expiring at the end of the season, Cardiff will be weary of a repeat of Joe Ledley’s free transfer to Celtic. That being said, with the club soaring and Bothroyd enjoying his new partnership with Craig Bellamy, he may not fancy a move.
Would be good for . . .
West Ham, particularly if Carlton Cole does leave.

Wilfred Zaha (Striker, Crystal Palace)

Why buy?
The 17 year old looks a special talent; the Victor Moses comparisons are already being made.
Any reasons to be cautious?
With just four senior starts, this would be a gamble.

Can a deal be done?

Possibly. Palace’s financial situation has improved but their business model has always relied on the sale of its academy players. They would probably a consider a deal where he was loaned back to the club for the remainder of the season.

Would be good for . . .

There is no obvious choice but perhaps a mid-table club such as Birmingham or Sunderland might be interested.

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