The Sky Bet Championship is jam packed full of talented players who excel for their respective clubs week in week out.
We asked our FLW writers their opinions on who has been the BEST player in the Championship this season, and here’s what they said…..
Michael Hasan – Andre Gray
What all promotion chasing sides need is a reliable goalscorer and Gray has been exactly that for Burnley.
He is the division’s top scorer with his big money move from Brentford majorly paying off for Burnley who lost Ings in the transfer window.
He has outperformed all of the other promotion contenders strikers with Rhodes struggling at Middlesbrough, Hernandez in a bad run of form and Hemed not as prolific, whilst Gray continues to consistently score goals and lead Burnley to promotion.
Kieran Thomas – Alan Judge
I have decided to select Brentford’s Judge for the title because he has been the player who has stood out for me over the current campaign.
A player who I feel is somewhat underrated and is extremely unlucky not to be playing top flight football.
Judge is still only 27-years-old and has been an ever present for the Bees this season scoring a very impressive 14 goals from midfield.
Every season you see the large clubs in the Premier League splashing the cash on these so called world class midfielders who usually under-perform, maybe these club’s should be considering players in the lower leagues who would do an excellent job but are overlooked because they don’t have a sexy Spanish surname or a crazy haircut.
Brentford landed Judge in 2014 for an undisclosed fee and when you compare this situation to the summer signing of Raheem Sterling at Manchester City for around £50 million, which has welded just 7 league goals, surely the smarter option would have been to go for a player in a similar situation to Alan Judge.
Ryan Evans – Ross McCormack
The Fulham striker has been pivotal for the Cottagers, scoring 19 league goals in his best effort to keep his side up. Considering that only Andre Gray has scored more, who plays for league leaders
Burnley, it is even more impressive that the Scot has been able to out-score the likes of Abel Hernandez, Chris Martin and Fernando Forrestieri with the limited support he has been given by his team mates.
If Fulham have any chance of staying up, it is likely that McCormack will add to his tally between now and May.
It’s impossible to imagine where they would be without him, and for that reason he gets my vote.
Charlie Firth – Alan Judge
Judge had a solid season last year but has been quite unbelievably good this year, funnily enough as Brentford have got worse.
He’s scored goals and given out assists for fun, attracting new the eyes of plenty of clubs.
Despite only having watched him this season only a handful of times, he’s performed in every single appearance.
I do think, notably, this season has seen very few individual performers stand out from the crowd, but Judge has and has been the Championship’s best player by some distance.
Lee Clarke – Joey Barton
When Sean Dyche opted to take the controversial ex-Manchester City midfielder to Turf Moor in the summer most people thought he had lost the plot.
But Barton has repaid the manager’s faith by being the heartbeat in a team that looks destined to win promotion to the Premier League.
Love him or hate him, few could argue against the 33-year-old collecting any accolades that should come away his way as we approach awards season.
There is nothing to suggest that Barton won’t carry on his good form this season and lead Burnley in the Premier League next season.
Elliott Wheat-Bowen – Alan Judge
For me, Alan Judge is the player of the year in the Championship.
It would’ve been easy to choose a player that’s featuring in a successful side however although Brentford have struggled this year, Alan Judge has shone.
From the deeper number 10 role only Fernando Forestieri has been close to competing with him. Judge has 13 goals and 9 assists, contributing to 45% of Brentford’s 48 goals this season.
In the context of the other Championship performers only Ross McCormack and Andre Gray have directly contributed more goals for their side than Judge, both of which are strikers rather than attacking midfielders.
This shows the coveted company Judge is sharing. Judge’s consistency in his performances and the impact he has had for Brentford in a struggling side is why he’s my player of the year
Ashley Williams – Alan Judge
I have gone for an outsider for the player of the season as I feel Judge has gone above and beyond to produce for his club.
Despite his side struggling this year, he has contributed 14 goals and 9 assists.
His displays at the tip of the Brentford midfield diamond have been nothing short of outstanding and has really come into his element since Lee Carsley, and now Dean Smith took charge at Griffin Park.
He also scooped up October’s player of the month award and has been nominated several times since. You would think that without Judge, Brentford would be in serious danger of going down this season and certainly should be in the 23 man squad for Ireland’s Euro 2016 campaign in the summer.
Lee Connor – Andre Gray
For me, its Andre Gray. No brainer.
Goals galore, hefty price tag to live up to, and has delivered.
He has won the last 3 or 4 games on his own as well, scoring the winning goal, always the sign of a top quality striker when they do it when it matters
Few notable mentions would be Joey Barton, Kayal at Brighton, and Iv been impressed with Anthony Pilkington at Cardiff too.