Which nPower Championship players could make it in the Barclays Premier League?
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It isn’t easy to make the step up from nPower Championship to the Barclays Premier League.
Just ask James Perch.
However, there are plenty of players taking the division by storm who could well do a job in the top flight.
With Everton boss David Moyes having secured some terrific bargains from the lower leagues over the years – such as Tim Cahill and Joleon Lescott for just £2m each – and some Premier League managers would do well to take note.
Here’s our list of the top ten Championship players of the season so far – limiting ourselves to picking one from each club.
Agree? Disagree? Let us know below.
10. David Forde (Millwall)
David Forde of Millwall shares the current division clean sheet record with QPR stopper Paddy Kenny, but with his team far less proficient in attack, his saves have proved even more vital.
Millwall reside in 9th at time of writing, but have conceded less goals than just two teams above them. The Lions’ hopes of a playoff place are built on their solid defensive displays.
9. Russell Martin (Norwich City)
Right back Russell Martin flourished under Darren Ferguson at Peterborough, and has gone on to scale even greater heights at Norwich City. The Canaries defender has been both solid in defence and a threat going forward, and his accomplished displays have been noted by Premier League clubs.
8. Matt Mills (Reading)
Reading defender Matt Mills has been an emphatic presence at the back this season, and has also managed to score two goals. A commanding 6’3″, Mills tends to win most of the aerial battles that come his way, and he is strong in the tackle too.
If Reading can couple their impressive defensive displays with goalscoring performances from the likes of Shane Long, they look a decent bet for the playoffs.
7. Kris Commons (Derby County)
Kris Commons is constantly driving Derby forward from midfield, and his 13 goals already this season show just how much of an influence he is on their team. Manager Nigel Clough must be delighted with what he has seen from the Scotland international so far, but fans are growing increasingly worried with the lack of progress in transfer talks.
A Premier League club could well swoop in and claim Commons at a bargain price.
6. Don Cowie (Watford)
27 year-old Don Cowie is one of the biggest reasons that Watford striker Danny Graham resides at the top of the nPower Championship goalscoring charts at present.
He has provided eight assists this season – the second most in the whole division so far, and though he doesn’t score many himself, his creativity more than makes up for it.
5. Scott Sinclair (Swansea)
Scott Sinclair has scored nine Championship goals from the wing for Swansea City already this term, and 14 overall in all competitions. His pace and trickery has made him almost unplayable at times, and he is surely ready for the Premier League after failing to make it at Chelsea and Wigan Athletic.
4. Jay Bothroyd (Cardiff City)
Jay Bothroyd has come into his own in the last two seasons at Cardiff City, scoring his most ever goals in a campaign in each. This season he has proved even better, and even received a first England call up at the age of 28.
His 13 goals in 17 Championship appearances this season are illustration of the advancements he has made.
3. Luciano Becchio (Leeds United)
Luciano Becchio isn’t just Leeds United’s top goalscorer with 12 goals. The Argentine must run more than almost any player in the nPower Championship. His hard work and power have won him a legion of fans and they will have been delighted to see that he signed a new contract in December.
2. Lewis McGugan (Nottingham Forest)
The right foot of Lewis McGugan is an absolute jackhammer, and the 22 year-old midfielder has scored so many stunning goals this season it has been laughable. Ten goals from midfield, and almost all of them incredible strikes, McGugan has improved each year since his debut in 2006, and also has three assists to his name.
1. Adel Taarabt (QPR)
On current form the most gifted player in the division. Queens Park Rangers talisman Adel Taarabt is not only the provider of the most assists in the league, but also is fourth in the top goalscorer chart.
His ability to do the unexpected has been a key reason behind QPR’s emphatic rise to the top of the nPower Championship, and having signed for the club for less than £1m in August 2010, he is now undoubtedly worth significantly more than that.
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