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The Championship has been a breeding ground for centre-backs who have gone on to play top-level international football and star in the Premier League. This year is no exception and with the likes of Pontus Jansson, Sean Morrison, Conor Coady and Curtis Davies not even making this list, I think we have a vintage crop this time around.
Here are three of the best without argument, though who you would make the top three will always come down to an opinion!
Bamba’s manager, Neil Warnock believes that he is a better out-and-out defender than Virgil van Dijk and frankly I don’t disagree, though he lacks in other departments of course. He is not as silky or classy in possession off the ball but when his goal is under threat and he is close enough to do something about it, Bamba’s body will always go on the line and that is invaluable.
Cardiff as a unit have been defensively solid all season and that is perhaps no surprise given that Warnock is their boss. However, Bamba as an individual has been truly outstanding and has put himself right in the shop window for another crack at the Premier League.
The big man has now done it consistently over two seasons for Bristol City and rarely puts a foot wrong, though for me he has stepped it up this term. He’s getting the recognition this season because of his club’s position in the league but in truth, he has been steadily improving for quite some time and is even a relatively prolific goal scorer to boot.
Flint should end up in the Premier League very soon even if it means leaving Ashton Gate but to see him play there with Reid, Bryan and Fielding to name three would be a thrill as they all deserve it.
The 26-year-old has epitomised Wolves’ improvement and rise to the top, having not featured in the first XI at first before going on to be one of the best players in this division. He averages 7.60 (out of 10) on Whoscored.com which actually places him at no.1 on their list of Championship players overall.
He looks sure to be promoted to the Premier League with Wolves this term but would end up at the top level one way or the other anyway.