The Championship Players Who Could Still Earn Premier League Moves This Month

06 October 2020 11:00

The transfer window may have ended for some - but if you're a member of the Football League, the sweat is probably still festering on your brow.

That's because the deadline for the lower leagues differs from that of the Premier League, which is both a good and bad thing. The good news is that Championship clubs and below can still add to their squads until 16 October. The bad? They can still be picked off by the big boys, many of whom may be on the hunt for hungry young talent after failing to get other deals over the line.

Manchester United, Tottenham and Arsenal are among the sides who have been linked with Championship stars the summer, and now that the distraction of pursuing major European targets has ended, it may be the perfect time to make their move.

Here, 90min spins you through the players who could still move on to pastures new.

1. Joe Rodon

Swansea City's Joe Rodon has been heavily linked with Spurs | Athena Pictures/Getty Images

Swansea City centre-half Joe Rodon has been heavily linked with a move to Jose Mourinho's Spurs. The north London outfit lost Jan Vertonghen in the summer and have so far failed to replace the Belgium international.

The 22-year-old has played four times for Wales after enjoying a successful breakout campaign in 2018/19 but has missed length spells due to injury. Talks are ongoing between the Swans and Spurs with an £18m fee being touted as the figure required to prize Rodon away from his boyhood club.

2. Ismaila Sarr

Sarr has been linked with Manchester United and Liverpool throughout the summer | Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Ismaila Sarr only joined Watford from Rennes last summer in a £27m move, but the Hornets relegation from the Premier League has seen the Senegal international linked with a host of top-flight teams.

Most notably the 22-year-old has been rumoured to be of interest to Manchester United. The Red Devils missed out on their top target in the shape of Jadon Sancho and failed to add the winger that they so desperately need when a late deal for Barcelona's Ousmane Dembélé couldn't be agreed.

That has left the door firmly ajar for Sarr to make a dream move to Old Trafford. His pace and trickery helped him contribute five goals and six assists in a relegated side last season and has seen Watford slap a £35m price tag on his head.

3. Said Benrahma

Benrahma formed part of Brentford's 'BMW' attack last season that fired them to the play-off final | Pool/Getty Images

Ollie Watkins got his big Premier League move, and next could be Said Benrahma. The pair formed part of Brentford's 'BMW' attack last season that fired the Bees to the play-off final, but they couldn't find a way past Scott Parker's Fulham at Wembley.

Benrahma bagged an incredible 17 goals from the left-wing and provided nine assists in 43 Championship matches last season. His scintillating form has seen him linked with moves to Chelsea, Crystal Palace and a reunion with Watkins at Villa.

4. Todd Cantwell

Cantwell impressed for Norwich City in the Premier League last season | Visionhaus/Getty Images

The Norwich City academy graduate has outgrown his boyhood club after an impressive season in the Premier League. The 22-year-old scored six goals and contributed two assists for the top-flight's basement side in 2019/20, which has seen him linked with an immediate return to the top division.

Several sides have been reportedly been monitoring the former England Under-21 international over the summer, but it's Leeds United that now lead the race for his signature. Marcelo Bielsa missed out on midfield targets Rodrigo De Paul and Michaël Cuisance and believes Cantwell could fill the void in his squad.

5. David Brooks

David Brooks enjoyed an impressive 2018/19 season | Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Bournemouth's relegation from the Premier League last season was down to several factors, but one that is often overlooked is the prolonged absence of David Brooks through injury.

The 23-year-old notched up seven goals and five assists in 30 top-flight matches in 2018/19, but a recurring ankle issue meant he only featured in nine matches as the Cherries went down in 2019/20.

If the Wales international can rediscover his best form he'd be a fine acquisition for several Premier League sides - with Manchester United, Tottenham and a return to Sheffield United all rumoured to be possible options for Brooks.

6. Karlan Grant

Huddersfield Town's Karlan Grant has attracted interest from West Brom | William Early/Getty Images

Karlan Grant joined Huddersfield Town halfway through their doomed relegation campaign in 2019 for £1.5m from Charlton and contributed four goals to a side that only managed 16 points.

The 23-year-old has since gone on to establish himself as a deadly marksman, bagging 19 goals last season as he steered the Terriers to Championship safety.

West Brom's pursuit of the Englishman has been well documented and the Baggies are still keen to secure a deal for the striker after firing blanks in two of their opening four matches.

7. Max Aarons

Max Aarons attracted interest from Barcelona over the summer | Stephen Pond/Getty Images

Despite being part of a defence that conceded 75 goals in the Premier League in 2019/20, Max Aarons caught the eye of several big sides with his impressive displays.

Barcelona had agreed personal terms with the right-back in the summer, but couldn't strike a deal with the Canaries - who weren't prepared to let their academy graduate go out on loan without an obligation to buy.

Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich were also interested in the 20-year-old before they opted for an alternative target and signed Marseille's Bouna Sarr, so a Premier League move may now be on the cards for Aarons.

8. Josh King

Bournemouth's Josh King has been linked with several top-flight teams | Steve Bardens/Getty Images

Bournemouth have already allowed several star names to depart their squad since returning to the Championship for the first time since 2014/15 and are unlikely to stand in Josh King's way if the right offer comes their way.

The Norway international has a decent strike rate in the Premier League, with 48 goals and 15 assists in 161 games and would be a handy addition to many forward lines. West Brom, Aston Villa and West Ham are the sides strongest linked with a move for the 28-year-old, who is keen to return to top-flight.

9. Emi Buendia

Buendia contributed seven assists in the Premier League throughout 2019/20 | Julian Finney/Getty Images

Creating chances wasn't the issue for Norwich as they suffered relegation last season, not when Emi Buendia was on the pitch at least. The diminutive winger provided seven assists for his teammates throughout 2019/20 in 36 Premier League appearances.

The Argentine looked set to join Turkish giants Fenerbahce earlier in the window but it appears their interest has cooled, meaning English sides could yet secure themselves a creative wide-man proven at the top-level.

10. Lewis Cook

Lewis Cook received his solitary England cap back in 2018 | James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Lewis Cook impressed in the 2017/18 season at the Vitality Stadium as Bournemouth's expansive style continued to cause upsets. Cook's displays in the middle of the park brought an element of control to Eddie Howe's side and resulted in the Leeds academy graduate's solitary England cap in March 2018.

But several severe injuries have hampered the 23-year-olds progress and resulted in a drop-off in form over the last couple of years. It's likely that Cook will be available for a reasonable price in this window given his recent troubles and Bournemouth's willingness to sell, and it could be a gamble worth taking for a host of top-flight sides.

11. Will Hughes

Hughes joined Watford from Derby in 2017 | Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Will Hughes joined Watford from Derby County for £8.2m back in 2017 and went on to feature 77 times for the Hornets in the Premier League over three seasons.

The 25-year-old's wealth of experience in the middle of the park at the top level could prove pivotal to teams looking for an edge in their fight to survive. He's not prolific in the goals or assists department, but his defensive contributions and strong tackling technique would make him an asset to most midfields.

12. Terence Kongolo

Kongolo's proposed move to Sheffield United collapsed | Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Huddersfield's record signing arrived to much fanfare after joining for £18m from French giants Monaco in the summer of 2018. But the Dutchman was unable to prevent the Terriers relegation as they endured a torrid second season in the Premier League.

Kongolo was set to join Chris Wilder at Sheffield United as a replacement for the injured Jack O'Connell, but a scan raised concerns over when the centre-half would be fully fit again - after he suffered a broken foot while on loan at Fulham last season.

Any side that needs an experienced defender and is willing to wait while he recovers will be monitoring the 26-year-old's progress closely over the next ten days.

13. Dael Fry

Fry came through the academy at Milddlesbrough | Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

The Middlesbrough academy graduate has become a staple of his hometown side's defence and has had multiple successes in the youth ranks with England.

Fry won the Under-20 World Cup and the Under-17 European Championship with the Three Lions and has been tipped for a move to the top-flight for several transfer windows.

Newly promoted sides Fulham and West Brom have already had their leaky defences exposed and could go much worse than making a move for the 23-year-old.

14. Bradley Dack

Dack hasn't played a match since December 2019 | Rachel Holborn - BRFC/Getty Images

Anyone up for a gamble will be keeping a close eye on Bradley Dack. The Blackburn Rovers midfielder hasn't played since suffering an ACL injury in December 2019 but isn't far away from regaining fitness.

The 26-year-old has a seriously impressive record for Tony Mowbray's side, bagging 46 goals and providing 24 assists in 114 games for the Lancashire club - including 15 strikes in the Championship during 2018/19.

It may be a risky move acquiring a player on the back of such a serious injury but the talent that Dack possesses may be enough to tempt some clubs in with an offer.

15. Joe Lolley

Lolley celebrates a goal with Matty Cash, now of Aston Villa, last season. | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Nottingham Forest have endured a shocking start to the 2020/21 Championship campaign, losing all four games to date.

That disastrous run of results follows on from their capitulation at the back end of last season, when Forest snatched playoff misery from the jaws of delight.

Chris Hughton is the new man in the dugout, after replacing Sabri Lamouchi, and one thing he'll keen to do is keep hold of Joe Lolley. The former Huddersfield winger has been brilliant over the past couple of years, upping his game to a whole new level.

He scores goals, he creates chance and most of all, he's a consistent performer. Those who are unable to score many could do worse than eyeing up the 28-year-old.

Source: 90min