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The Championship this season has shown that it is as strong as it has ever been. With a lot of money trickling down from the Premier League, clubs have been smashing the Championship transfer fee regularly. And so far this season, quite a few players have really stepped up and shown that they belong at a higher level. We look at the three to watch this season.
The ex-Crystal Palace striker had to drop down a level to find regular first-team football with Newcastle United. And he is showing that he is a man that belongs in the Premier League after all. He was born to score goals and has so far scored 11 goals in 12 appearances and sits as a top goalscorer, spearheading Newcastle’s attack and helping them to sit pretty at the top of the league.
Such is his quality, that he has relegated Aleksandar Mitrovic to the bench, with the highly-rated Serbia international unable to break into the side with Gayle in such fine form.
With Newcastle look set to lose Jonjo Shelvey on a long ban, it will be down to Gayle to step up and be even more clinical with his chances as he may find them harder to come by. But in this form, that looks like something that will not bother him in the slightest.
The French winger must look at compatriot Riyad Mahrez and wonder what might have been. When Knockaert first come to English football, he joined Leicester City and had a great few seasons in the Championship
However, after finding first-team appearances hard to come by when they returned to the Premier League, he decided to leave on a free transfer. And via Standard Liege, he has ended up back in English football with Brighton & Hove Albion and is taking the league by storm.
His style is quite reminiscent of Mahrez, as he ghosts past players and has a fantastic delivery and shot. He has been one of the most exciting players to watch in the league this season and is one of those players that fans love to see. He gets people off of their seat in anticipation whenever he picks up the ball.
No matter whether Brighton makes it to the Premier League next season – he, one way or another, deserves to play at that level.
The Chelsea youngster clearly has a big future and has been tipped for big things ever since his days in the Chelsea youth team, and his rise through the ranks at England youth level.
Despite making two appearances for the club last year, it was thought that his development was best served if he went out on loan to gain experience. And it shows his quality that he was able to go straight to a club in the Championship.
What’s more, is that he hasn’t just gone to make up the numbers, he has taken the league by storm. To find out the youngster is just 19, is quite a shock to some. He stands at an imposing 6’4”, is strongly built and has excellent pace. He has all the physical tools you could need to play as a centre-forward.
But it is his quality on the ball that is making the difference, and the youngster has so far scored 12 goals in 20 appearances.
The last youngster to graduate through the Chelsea ranks and cement a first team place was John Terry. If Abraham carries on like this, he may be the next one.