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The Best Young Players in the Championship this Season

The Best Young Players in the Championship this Season

Monday, 21 January, 2019 - 08:15
Harry Wilson, Tammy Abraham, Emiliano Buendía and Che Adams. (Getty composite)
London - Martin Laurence
Tammy Abraham, 21, Aston Villa
Tammy Abraham has already been offered a chance to play in the Premier League in this transfer window. He rejected a loan move to Wolves earlier this month in favor of staying with Aston Villa to help with their push for promotion. Not every player would turn down a Premier League club but his decision may prove wise. There’s little doubt the 21-year-old striker will be a Premier League player next season, wherever that may be, so his choice to stick with a side and system that play to his strengths is admirable. Abraham, who has two England caps, is the joint top scorer in the Championship this season with 16 goals in 20 appearances – and 12 of those goals have come in his last 10 games. Rating: 7.40

Harvey Barnes, 21, West Bromwich Albion
Harvey Barnes is another loanee who is destined to be playing top-flight football next season. Leicester may yet struggle to keep hold of their winger given his form for West Brom. The 21-year-old has had a direct hand in 15 league goals, scoring nine and assisting six for the Baggies, having started every single game. He has fired off the most shots in the division (88), ranks second for successful dribbles (45) and will surely have caught the eye of scouts at the country’s top clubs. Rating: 7.24

Emiliano Buendía, 22, Norwich City
Signed in the summer for just £1.5m from Getafe following a successful loan spell in Spain’s second division, Emiliano Buendía has proven to be a steal for the Canaries. The Argentinian understandably took time to adjust to the English game and the physicality of the Championship in particular, but he was on a really impressive run before picking up an injury on. Even though he is a creative player who plays from the right wing, the 22-year-old’s defensive work rate has been admirable, averaging the fourth most tackles in the league (3.4 per 90 minutes). Rating: 7.18

Neal Maupay, 22, Brentford
It was considered something of a coup when Brentford signed Neal Maupay from Saint-Étienne in 2017 and, after a solid debut campaign in the Championship, he is certainly living up to his reputation now. The 22-year-old was earmarked as one of France’s top attacking talents in his early teens but never really progressed as expected. He’s doing so this season, with his total 15 goals and six assists ensuring he has had a direct hand in more goals than any other player in the Championship. His campaign has been scattered with moments of madness but, if he can control his temper, Maupay should be set for the top. Rating: 7.11

Jarrod Bowen, 22, Hull City
It took a little time for Jarrod Bowen to get going this season after he had amassed an impressive 15 league goals last term, but the 22-year-old’s form has been outstanding of late. A run of seven goals in as many appearances has taken his tally into double figures once more (11) and reportedly attracted interest from Tottenham. With a powerful left foot strike, the youngster often cuts in from the right wing, averaging 1.5 dribbles per 90 minutes and has an invaluable knack of picking up goalscoring positions in the box. Rating: 7.10

Joe Rodon, 21, Swansea City
Despite only turning 20 in October and not having featured for the first team before this season, Joe Rodon has become a regular in the Swans backline, impressing enough to earn a senior international call-up in October. He dominates in the air – winning nearly two thirds of his aerial duels – and is accomplished with the ball at his feet too, with a pass accuracy of 86.5% ranking fourth of all the center-backs in the Championship. Rating: 7.10

Oliver McBurnie, 22, Swansea City
Scotland international Oliver McBurnie his nine goals in the Championship last season while on loan at Barnsley and he has already bettered that tally this time around, although his 10 league strikes have come in fits and starts over the course of the campaign. That said, his link-up play is solid, chipping in with three assists from the front having created the third most chances of all strikers in the division (30). Rating: 7.05

Harry Wilson, 21, Derby County
The Liverpool fans who have been keeping a close eye on Harry Wilson’s progress during his loan spell with Derby this season will be impressed by his highlights reel. Wilson turns 22 in March so will be keen to become a first-team regular soon; his impressive nine-goal haul so far this season will do him no harm. He is versatile and his long-distance shooting, particularly from set pieces, is a real asset; he has scored six times from outside the box in the league this season. Whether or not he makes the grade at Anfield, Wilson is a Premier League player in waiting. Rating: 7.04

Reece James, 19, Wigan Athletic
Another loanee, Reece James is hoping to achieve the near impossible feat of breaking into Chelsea’s first team after graduating from their academy. He is certainly making a good impression at Wigan. The right-back – our highest rated teenager in the Championship this season – has impressed with his his delivery from wide. His total of 43 accurate crosses is the seventh best in the league and he has created more chances than any other full-back. Rating: 7.01

Che Adams, 22, Birmingham City
Che Adams has shown flashes of his potential in previous seasons and now he is realizing that promise. The 22-year-old is has pace and power in abundance but has lacked that finishing touch in the past, scoring a modest 12 goals in 70 Championship appearances before this season. He has matched that tally in just 26 matches this time around, forging an excellent understanding with targetman Lukas Jutkiewicz. Rating: 6.99

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