As I have shown with previous articles regarding the high quality of the Championship, this division is a hot spot for talent as shown with the likes of Jarrod Bowen earning a top-flight move in recent times.
Some teams have now found themselves in a difficult situation as their star assets could leave their club as they search for Premier League football following a successful season in the second tier. But who could join a Premier League side this summer and could they replicate the previous players that have excelled coming from the Championship?
First up, one player in particular last season did extremely well, the Chile international Ben Brereton Díaz. Despite being raised in Stoke-on-Trent, Brereton Díaz was eligible to play for the South American side through his mother’s origins.
After an underwhelming first few seasons at Blackburn Rovers, the 23-year-old accumulated 22 goals and three assists in 37 Championship games. In the previous campaign, Brereton Díaz only scored seven goals in a similar number of games and the vast majority of the Blackburn faithful certainly didn’t expect his sudden goalscoring return.
Unfortunately for Blackburn and Brereton Díaz, he suffered a ruptured ankle ligament injury in February which kept him on the sidelines for over a month and hampered Rovers’ chance of promotion to the Premier League. Leeds United and Southampton have reportedly been interested in Brereton Díaz’s signature. However, a move to a club like Brighton & Hove Albion would be a good deal for the club and the player as the Seagulls have lacked a clinical finisher in recent seasons.
Sander Berge has now been at Sheffield United for over two years and after defeat in the play-off semi-final against Nottingham Forest, he could be looking for a move elsewhere. The Norwegian’s main position is as a centre midfielder but last season he ended up playing as a defensive midfielder and in the attacking midfield role as well.
Berge also got ten goal contributions last season at Bramall Lane which shows that he is as good going forward as he is defensively. As per WhoScored, the 24-year-old had 1.1 interceptions per 90 and completed 0.5 clearances per 90 which enforces the point that he is good defensively, despite playing slightly further up the field at times.
After being the Blades’ record signing, Paul Heckingbottom will try to hold out for as much money as possible as they will try to get a satisfactory return following his arrival from Genk. Leeds United have been linked with Berge with Kalvin Phillips being linked to Manchester City. Sheffield United reportedly have a £35 million release clause in Berge’s contract but they are unlikely to demand that fee; a move to Leeds would be a logical one for everyone involved.
Welsh international Ben Cabango could have offers on the table from different clubs this summer after another good season in South Wales. Under Russell Martin, Cabango has adapted to his playing style with ease and his composure on the ball is there for everyone to see.
With Martin’s system of playing out of the defence a lot, when it doesn’t go to plan, it often coincides with the Swans’ defenders being left vulnerable which is shown by the 68 goals they conceded last season. The 22-year-old played the majority of games last season and in the season before, he formed an excellent partnership with now Crystal Palace centre-back Marc Guéhi. Cabango is also a consistent performer and is classified as a ‘modern-day centre-back.’
Burnley are reported to be looking at Cabango as a James Tarkowski replacement which could be an excellent signing for the Clarets with Vincent Kompany’s arrival. A Premier League move for the Welshman could not be far away and a move to Turf Moor would be an astute bit of business by Burnley.
But out of these three players who have had a great season in the Championship, which Premier League sides do you think Ben Brereton Díaz, Sander Berge and Ben Cabango could join this summer?