The Championship has proven to be a strong breeding ground for top-tier talent. Whether it’s providing opportunities for players in loan spells from the Premier League or for stars to have shone at their respective clubs in the second tier, there are opportunities to be seized.
The summer transfer window has continued the trend of players moving upwards as Adam Armstrong said farewell to Blackburn Rovers to complete a move to Southampton. Ollie Watkins previously made the switch from Brentford to Aston Villa before the Bees joined the Villains in the Premier top flight.
The question is who are the next players that could make the leap to join the elite and potentially for those clubs either playing or chasing Champions League football. Clubs of the ilk of Liverpool have been willing to scoop up the best from the second tier and it would be no surprise to see them move for players of this calibre in the near future.
Adarabioyo did not make the grade at Manchester City and completed a permanent move to Fulham last term for their Premier League campaign. The 23-year-old made 32 appearances for the Cottagers, although he was powerless to stop their slide into the Championship. Despite their relegation, Adarabioyo proved that he was up for the challenge of the top flight even at a young age for a defender. He forged a good partnership with Joachim Andersen at the back, and their performances were one of the few positives to emerge from the campaign.
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) August 7, 2021
The defender has a proven pedigree having been on the books of City as a youngster, and has played for England at junior level. He has a good physique and a turn of pace that is crucial in the modern game. Clubs will want to see more from Adarabioyo in the Championship before making a move, although there is already reported interest from Southampton and Norwich City. However, if he proves to be an integral part of a promotion surge for Marco Silva’s men, he could well be on the way up sooner than May.
Solanke was supposed to be the next big thing after his move to Liverpool from Chelsea. He made sparing appearances in the 2017/18 season, scoring his first Premier League goal in a 4-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion. However, he was then dispatched to Bournemouth for a fee of £15m, but failed to make an impact for Eddie Howe’s side as they crashed out of the Premier League. Solanke scored only three goals in 32 appearances, which was an underwhelming return, to say the least.
The forward found his feet in the Championship, firing the Cherries into the playoffs with 15 strikes to his name. Although the club failed to return to the Premier League, Solanke has continued where he left off last term with a good start to the new season. He does have great potential and was a standout for England at junior level, being a key cog in the Under-20 team that triumphed in their World Cup. The sky is the limit for Solanke, who has all the attributes to become a success at a higher level. He does need to cultivate consistency, but it would not be a surprise to see him become the next Watkins.