The Championship is full of talented youngsters making their way in the game and it’s often forgotten just how good they are.
To see this in action, you only have to look at the latest England squad to understand just how much quality has come through the EFL in recent years and most notably the Championship.
Now, with Brennan Johnson and Fabio Carvalho both thriving and finding themselves in the Premier League, the light will be shone once again on players who will be hoping to have their breakout seasons in the upcoming campaign.
So, with that in mind, I’ve picked out five players I think will shine in the upcoming season and there may well be a couple of surprises…
Daniel Jebbison – Sheffield United
The 18-year-old rose to prominence in just his second game when he scored the winner for the Blades against Everton in 2021.
A loan spell at Burton in the first half of last season allowed the teenager to showcase his ability, scoring on seven occasions in 20 appearances, prompting a recall to Paul Heckingbottom’s side.
With David McGoldrick and Lys Mousset moving onto pastures new, it opens up an opportunity for the Blades academy graduate.
A natural finisher with good movement off the ball, Heckingbottom should use him anything but sparingly.
With Rhian Brewster and Ollie McBurnie failing to find fitness and form consistently last season, using Jebbison will be in the best interests of the Blades boss.
Alex Scott – Bristol City
There’s excitement brewing at Ashton Gate and it’s easy to see why. A positive transfer window coupled with Alex Scott enjoying a summer with England Under-19s, he could well be the breakout star of the season.
Scott will turn 19 in August and will have benefitted from the experience gained last season.
Used as a utility player, the Guernsey lad will have learnt more than enough to thrive as a senior player.
There are still areas of his game that need refining, but as he’s been given the number seven shirt at Bristol City, he’s clearly going to get plenty of game time.
Dan Neil – Sunderland
The Sunderland academy graduate enjoyed a breakthrough in League One and there’s expectation for him to do it again in the Championship.
The playmaker has earned high praise so far and having contributed to three goals and seven assists last season, he can easily do the same again in the Championship.
The England-Under-20s international is seen as a future Sunderland captain and has already worn the armband in the EFL Trophy.
With an impressive range of passing and incisive decision-making when it comes to executing through balls, Neil will go a long way to lighting up the Championship next season.
Billy Mitchell – Millwall
The future is bright at The Den as several players look to break through the ranks – Billy Mitchell included, who made 42 appearances in the heart of the Lions midfield in his first full season.
Mitchell deserves an immense amount of credit having fended off the likes of Mikael Keiftenbeld, George Evans and Ryan Leonard to solidify himself as a regular in the side.
His work rate is exceptional and is a midfielder every team wishes they could have.
His midfield role will certainly go unnoticed as grabbing goals and assists is not where he thrives.
The ‘dirty’ work if you like allows his teammates to express themselves knowing fullwell Mitchell has the middle of the park covered.
A steady season last term is more than expected to turn into a breakout one for the youngster in this campaign.
Joel Bagan – Cardiff City
Bagan was brilliant for Cardiff in the second half of last season after a rocky first half of the campaign where he was in and out of the side.
But, since returning to the starting XI in February, Bagan did not look back. He took the role of wing-back and ran with it, figuratively and literally.
In addition, he scored three important goals that were a mix of poaching and individual brilliance as Cardiff dragged themselves away from a relegation battle.
Bagan has the potential to be one of the most complete wing-backs in the league next season and has shown he’s capable of stepping up under Steve Morison who will undoubtedly deploy a system that will get the very best out of the 20-year-old.
Bonus: Jack Rudoni – AFC Wimbledon
Rudoni has been heavily linked with a move away from Wimbledon this summer and has been subject to unsuccessful bids from Luton, Huddersfield and Sunderland.
Whoever signs the 21-year-old will get him at a bargain, with Wimbledon hoping for up to £1m for the attacking midfielder.
Rudoni bagged 12 goals and five assists in a team that went 20 games without a win last season, proving his ability. He can play across front three and isn’t short of confidence and will thrive in the right system and team.
Whilst he hasn’t signed for a Championship club yet, whoever he does sign for – if he does – he will play a huge role in their success next season.
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