Sam Hutchinson has named former Sheffield Wednesday team-mate Lucas Joao as the best striker in the Championship after a stunning 2020/21 season for the Portuguese player.
Hutchinson and Joao played together between 2015 and 2019, where it’s fair to say that Joao didn’t quite show the form that he currently is.
Joao netted 26 times in 112 league appearances for Wednesday in his four-year stint at the club, and his inconsistencies led to a loan spell at Blackburn Rovers during that time.
His best season came in his final full one – Joao netted 10 times in the league in 31 outings before Reading came in for him following the start of the next season for a fee of around £5 million (per transfermarkt).
Joao scored six goals in 19 league games in his first season, but he’s absolutely blown away that tally during the current campaign, netting 18 times in 29 appearances in the Championship as the Royals are searching for Premier League football once again.
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He’s battling with the likes of Adam Armstrong and Teemu Pukki to close down Ivan Toney at the top of the scoring ranks, and Pukki is a man that Sheffield Wednesday will come face-to-face with on Saturday.
Speaking on Pukki ahead of Wednesday’s weekend clash with the Canaries, Hutchinson complimented the Finnish striker but saved his most special praise for a former team-mate in Joao, who he believes is the best in the division.
“He scores goals and has got that confidence,” Hutchinson said of Pukki, per YorkshireLive.
“He’s one of the best strikers in the Championship.
“For me, Lucas Joao is the best in the Championship.”
It is a bold claim from Hutchinson that Joao is the best in the division in his position – as he certainly has a lot of competition up there.
The fact that Ivan Toney has jumped up into the league and taken it by storm would suggest that he is the best, but it is entirely subjective and of course Hutchinson is best-placed to judge Joao’s obvious talents.
And if Joao continues his form up until the end of the season, it would be no surprise to see him be the recipient of big summer bids from Premier League clubs.