With Ivan Toney proving to be a revelation for Brentford this season following his step up from League One side Peterborough United, all eyes are on League One’s top scorers from this past season to see if they can replicate his success.
Toney scored 33 goals in 48 matches – a Championship record – as he helped the Bees over the line to finally secure their Premier League place for the first time ever.
The initial £5 million spent on Toney was a major risk considering he had never done it at Championship level before, but due to his prolificness, eyes are on England’s third tier more than ever.
Jonson Clarke-Harris, Charlie Wyke, Jerry Yates and Joe Pigott all broke the 20-goal barrier and all have been linked to Championship sides, whilst the likes of Dion Charles on 19 goals is attracting similar interest.
That’s a mix of talent that have not reached their peak yet age-wise and others who are in their best years, and one who is probably in the latter group that has Championship clubs watching him is Chuks Aneke.
The 27-year-old Charlton forward scored 15 times for the Addicks last season in 38 League One appearances – just 11 of those though were from the start as Aneke proved himself to be a real handful from the bench.
TEAMtalk named five Championship clubs as targeting the former Arsenal man this summer – although he’s now believed to not be on Bristol City’s list of potential acquisitions – but Middlesbrough, QPR, Coventry City and Reading have all been named as possible suitors.
Whilst Aneke’s goalscoring record for the 2020-21 campaign is an impressive one though, there are major reservations that he will actually be a success in the Championship.
The first issue you have is the fact that he only started 11 games for Charlton last season, and that wasn’t just because Lee Bowyer and Nigel Adkins saw him as a super-sub.
Bowyer stated earlier in the season that Aneke would already be a regular Championship player if he could be kept fit – he missed a large part of the previous campaign due to injury setbacks and utilising him mainly from the bench was something pretty much forced upon the man that left The Valley in March for Birmingham City.
Because of his fitness issues, Aneke couldn’t go to another team and be a regular starter – not to begin with anyway – or else he would probably just break down, but would he be able to perform at that level regardless?
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Aneke has had three prolific goalscoring seasons in his career – twice in League One for Crewe and Charlton and once for MK Dons in League Two – the only time he’s stepped up to the Championship was in 2019-20 and he managed to score just once in 20 appearances, which came either side of his long mid-season lay-off.
So there would be serious doubts at this stage of his career that Aneke could make a massive impact and be a double-figure goalscorer in the second tier – football has a habit of throwing up surprises though and he will be looking to prove a point should a Championship team take a punt on him.
Aneke though may be best-suited to staying at Charlton though and trying to fire them into the Championship himself – a pre-season working on his fitness and at a club he knows well could be the making of him and he could return to being a starting figure for the Addicks.