Four Championship Stars

Four Championship Stars who could make the Premier League step-up in January

With the festive season fast approaching, English football moves up a gear with most clubs heavily in action over the Christmas period. With the extra level of fixtures, brings further injuries, suspensions and the potential needs for respective managers to strengthen their squads to try and fulfil the hopes and expectations for all concerned.

The Football League Championship is widely recognised as the most financially affluent, second tier division in the game, but, it is still in part of the footballing food chain that is the Premier League - and clubs will already be looking at some of the best talent in the Championship for potential January moves.

In this article, we will look at four players who could move to the top table of English football in the New Year.

Brooks in demand

Newly promoted Sheffield United are flying high in the Championship this season and among a strong outside bet for the title. One component of the Blades' recent success is down to the precocious 20-year-old winger, David Brooks. As a sign of his meteoric rise, Brooks gained full international honours for Wales in their recent friendlies with France and Panama.

The former Manchester City youth player joined Sheffield United back in 2015 and has since blossomed into one of the most sought-after talents in the Championship, with scouts flocking to witness his still brief career. Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur are believed to have serious interest in Brooks, who could take the step up to Premier League level in his stride judging on his composed performances so far this season.

A ballpark figure of £20m has already been placed on the head of Brooks in a statement of intent by United in a bid to warn off potential suitors, but provided that Brooks' form continues in an upward curve, it will be very difficult for the South Yorkshire club to turn away such an offer.

Joust for Jarrod

Despite languishing near the foot of the Championship standings, one highlight for Hull City this season has been the impressive form of 20-year-old striker, Jarrod Bowen. Signed in 2014 from Hereford United, Bowen has hit nine goals in the second tier of English football so far this season, and the Premier League clubs are already taking notice of his deadly eye for goal.

After signing a new improved contract back in September, that deal can only be seen as cover by his employers to maximise his potential sale. West Bromwich Albion and Huddersfield Town are believed to have some interest in offering Bowen an opportunity for Premier League game time in January, and it will be worth keeping a close eye on developments.

Permanent home for Sam?

After a loan career that has taken in Oldham Athletic, Scunthorpe United, Yeovil Town, Walsall, Doncaster Rovers and Preston North End - and now Aston Villa - you could fairly assume that 24-year-old Manchester United goalkeeper, Sam Johnstone would like a permanent club to call home.

United is his 'home' in the sense of still being under contract with the Red Devils, but his regular loan moves due to being behind David de Gea and Sergio Romero, have obviously impacted on his opportunities at Old Trafford. Johnstone's performances for Villa this season have already had Premier League clubs on high alert.

Villa boss, Steve Bruce would obviously like to keep Johnstone for his own club, but certain Premier League clubs - including West Bromwich Albion have expressed an interest in Johnstone's services between the posts. It is alleged the keeper has a recall clause in his loan deal which means that his spell at Villa Park could be cut short should the Baggies lodge a bid to United's liking.

Sessegnon scramble awaits

Following a hat-trick against Sheffield United that gave his Fulham side an entertaining 5-4 away win at Bramall Lane recently, 17-year-old wonder kid, Ryan Sessegnon has all the big clubs drooling over his talents.

Since making his league debut as a 16-year-old last season, the left sided player has already accumulated 50 appearances for the Cottagers, and already wears the number 3 jersey. Sessegnon has also made his mark at international level, as he helped England win the European U19 Championships back in June. He also waded in with three goals, by finishing the tournament as joint top-scorer.

It is only a matter of time before Sessegnon is signed up by a major Premier League side. Tottenham, Liverpool, both Manchester clubs and Arsenal are just a guide to the teams who are monitoring his progress. Perhaps one of those sides will decide to agree a deal with Fulham in the January window, and loan his back to Fulham to continue his progress at Craven Cottage.

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