This season the Premier League will be joined by Leicester City, Burnley and Queen’s Park Rangers who were all promoted from the Championship. Every season some of those players who have proved themselves in the second tier make the step up to the top flight and terrorise the bigger teams. As an avid fan of the Championship, i’ve decided to take a look at some of those players who we could be seeing highlighted on Match of the Day this campaign!
DANNY INGS (BURNLEY) – Striker
At 21 years of age Danny Ings is one of the hottest young prospects coming up from the Championship this season. Starting out at Bournemouth on the South coast he made 26 appearances in his breakthrough season in League 1 before heading up North to follow his manager Eddie Howe to Burnley. As his club struggled so did Ings initially only scoring 6 over the 2011/12 & 2012/13 campaigns but last year Danny arrived on the scene. Burnley finished as runners-up under manager Sean Dyche with Ings dominating the up front with 21 goals in 40 games. He has played 4 times for the England U21s and certainly has an England future if the youngster can keep up his form over the next few seasons.
CHARLIE AUSTIN (QPR) – Striker
Charlie Austin is my favourite Championship player, a striker I was desperate for my club, Cardiff City, to sign upon promotion last season. Whilst Ings was struggling for Burnley between 2011-2013, Austin was smashing in the goals! He scored 41 times in 82 games for The Clarets and looked set to move to Hull City and join their Premier League adventure however he failed his medical. Less than a month later he was on his way to Loftus Road where he found the net on 17 occasions. The 25 year old picked up a shoulder injury that unfortunately kept him out for a long period from the end of January and that saw QPR’s form slip but he returned at the end of the season to help his side win the play-offs.
WES MORGAN (LEICESTER) – Defender
Wes Morgan is Leicester City’s club captain and a well known rock at the back in the Championship. Just liked I feared Charlie Austin coming to Cardiff City Stadium, I also dreaded the the 6ft 1in, 14st 8lb frame of Wes Morgan too! At 30 years of age, Wes has been round the block and served his time in England’s second division. A Nottingham Forest player since 1999 he played 352 league games for the club before his £1m move to the King Power Stadium in 2011. Since then he has made 118 appearances including 45/46 in The Foxes successful promotion season that ended in him lifting the trophy. The Jamaican international will be vital at the back if Leicester are to survive in the top flight.
KASPER SCHMEICHEL (LEICESTER) – Goalkeeper
“A familiar name for a goalkeeper” I hear you cry! Well yes, Kasper is the son of the Great Dane that was Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel. After a youth career at the blue half of Manchester that included 1 appearance in the Premier League, Kasper has been around a bit with spells in the Scottish Premier League, League Two and the Championship. Aged 27 he has 289 career league appearances to his name and signed for Leicester under Sven-Goran Eriksson in June 2011. Since then he hasn’t missed a game in the Championship for The Foxes and made some vital saves that helped get his side promoted. He even nearly scored against Yeovil too but was unlucky to have the goal taken off him as the ball didn’t cross the line from his header and Chris Wood tapped it in. This will be his biggest test yet to see if he can live up to the Schmeichel name!
MATTHEW PHILLIPS (QPR) – Midfielder
Matty Philips is for me, the better player out of the two who used to tear it up for Blackpool, him and Tom Ince. Ince has joined Hull City this summer but Matty got promoted via the playoffs with QPR. He only played 21 times and scored 3 goals last season but was unfortunately injured at the start of February, a blow to Harry Redknapp’s side. He moved for £5m to Loftus Road and has played twice for Scotland after electing to represent them instead of England. He’s a winger with immense talent and at only 23 if he can make a name for himself this year then a big move could be on the horizon in the future.
Follow me on Twitter: @GJ_Thomas
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