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EFL Championship Power rankings: Top 20 players to watch in 2023

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Although then Premier League tends to attract most of the headlines, there is plenty of football talent at the Championship level, as the following list demonstrates.

 

Alex Scott (Bristol City)

Guernsey born Scott has been compared to Jack Grealish, and the midfielder has some of his mannerisms with his socks down around his ankles and his vision and ability on the ball.

Still just 19 he has already played for the West Country club over 50 times, and scored for them four times. He was part of the England side that won the UEFA Under-19 European Championship last year.

 

Ryan Giles (Middlesbrough)

Ryan Gilles is on loan from Wolves at Middlesbrough, but there is already talk of that move being made permanent if he cannot be guaranteed first team football at Molineux.

The 22-year old is versatile, can play as either a wing back or in midfield and has represented England at under-20 level.

 

Gabriel Sara (Norwich City)

Following their relegation from the Premier League, Norwich City decided they needed to refresh their squad,, and one of the players they brought in was attacking midfielder Sara from Sáo Paolo.

He has managed 2 goals and 13 assists so far, although with Dean Smith sacked as manager, it is not sure in which direction then club is headed right now.

 

Rob Dickie (QPR)

When Dickie joined QPR from Oxford United, he was persuaded to turn down overtures from premier League clubs, because it was felt better for his long-term development if he played in the Championship. It has proved to be sound advice as he has already notched up 80 appearances for the West London club and become one of the most reliable defenders in the league.

 

Jordan James (Birmingham City)

James came through the same Birmingham academy system that produced Jude Bellingham, and, whilst he may not have yet matched his exploits, has already established himself as a fixture in their midfield, despite still being just 18. Eligible to play for both Wales and England, he has represented both at youth level.

 

Joel Piroe (Swansea City)

The Dutch striker joined Bristol City for just £1 million in the summer of 2021 from PSV Eindhoven and more than paid off the investment in him with 24 goals in 47 appearances for the South Wales club.

He has not been quite so prolific so far this season, but 8 goals in 23 games is still a decent return.

 

Kane Wilson (Bristol City)

Right back Kane Wilson joined Bristol City from Forest Green Rovers where he was named League Two Player of the Season last year. He is still finding his feet at the Championship level, but there are hoped he could begin to fulfil his potential in 2023.

 

John Swift (WBA)

Swift has been one of the best midfielders in the Championship for some time now, and last season had 13 assists, the second highest in the league, for Reading side that finished 21st in the table. He has now moved to West Bromwich Albion, and has already managed three goals in 25 appearances so far this season.

He was capped by England all the way up to under-21 level.

 

Chris Willock (QPR)

Chris Willock, the older brother of Newcastle’s Joe, was a highly rated youngster at Arsenal, until frustrated by his lack of opportunities, moved to Benfica.

That proved to be a largely disappointing experience for him as well, but, since joining QPR in 2020 he seems to have rediscovered the form in front of goal that saw him so highly rated at one time.

 

Brereton Díaz (Blackburn Rovers)

If Blackburn are to maintain their unlikely promotion challenge, then it will be the goals of Brereton Díaz that keep them in the hunt.

Since moving from Nottingham Forest in 2018, he has managed close to one every games for the Lancashire club.

The former Manchester United trainee was born in Stoke on Trent but qualifies to play for Chile through his mother, and has 17 senior caps for them.

 

Han – Noah Massengo (Bristol City)

Massengo is product of the Monaco youth system, and made seven appearances for them, before joining Bristol City in 2019 for a reported fee of £7.2 million. He has since gone on to play for the West of England side 100 times.

He was capped 13 times by France at under 18 level.

 

Michael Obafemi (Swansea City)

Republic of Oreland striker Obafemi is starting to gain a name for himself, having scored 15 goals in 52 appearances for Swansea City, having first broken through at Southampton, for whom he became their second youngest player after Luke Shaw to make his debut for them.

 

Ryan Longman (Hull City)

Longman, a midfielder by trade, is currently on loan with Hull City from his parent club Brighton, for whom he made one EFL Cup appearance. He spent the 2010- 21 season on loan at AFC Wimbledon, before joining Hull. He has since made 57 appearances in the Championship for them scoring 7 times.

 

Taylor Harwood-Bellis (Stoke City)

Harwood-Bellis is a Manchester City graduate currently on loan with Burnley, where he is being mentored by manager Vincent Kompany. He has represented England at every age group up to under 21 level, and made brief appearances for City in the EFL Cup before he was sent on loan, first to Blackburn Rovers, then Anderlecht (Kompany’s old club) and then Stoke.

If Burnley succeed in gaining promotion back to the premier League, they may well try and engineer a permanent move for him.

 

Ben Cabango (Swansea City)

Cabango was part of the Wales squad at the Qatar World Cup, although he did not see any action in the tournament.

He spent his youth career with Newport County and then Swansea, making his debut in 2018. Since then he has made 120 appearances for them and is regarded as one of the most reliable defenders in the Championship.

 

Jacob Greaves (Hull City)

Centre back Greaves has spent almost his entire processual career with his home town club Hull City, apart from a season long loan with Cheltenham Town. He has made more than 00 appearances for them, and scored his first career goal away at Rotherham in October.

 

Charlie Cresswell (Millwall)

Cresswell is a product of the Leeds United academy, but has been sent on loan to Millwall to gain valuable experience for the 2022-23 season. He has not only made 14 appearances for his new club, but has chipped in with four goals as well. He has been capped 8 times by England and under-212 level.

 

Isiah Jones (Middlesbrough)

Many are tipping Middlesbrough, now managed by Michael Carrick, to make a late bid for the promotion places, and wing-back Jones will surely figure strongly in his plans,

He is renowned for his pace, ability to beat players and also for his crossing ability.

One of the players that get fans excited when he has the ball at his feet.

 

Scott Twine (Burnley)

With Milton Keynes Dons in the 2021/2022 season, twine scored 20 goals and was named League One Player of the Season. That earned him a move to Vincent Kompany’s Burnley, and, although it has not yet happened for him due to injury and a loss of form, he could still have a big part to play as they press for instant promotion back to the Premier League.

 

Jack Rudoni (Huddersfield Town)

Having lost in the play-off final last season it has been a miserable campaign so far for Huddersfield Town. If they are to get out of the relegation zone, then they will lean heavily in on the talents of the likes of midfielder Rudoni, who joined them in the summer having scored 22 goals and provided five assists in league One for AFC Wimbledon.

I'm a sports enthusiast, love writing about football. I have been writing about top teams in Europe, the Premier League and La Liga.

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