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Five Championship players primed for Premier League transfers

The 2023-24 Championship campaign concluded at the weekend as Southampton beat Leeds United in the play-off final to book their place in the Premier League next season.

The Saints join Leicester and Ipswich Town in the top division next season with the trio set to test themselves against the Premier League’s best. However, there’s plenty of talent still in the Championship who might make the step up via transfers, rather than promotion.

Here are five Championship players primed for Premier League transfers.

Crysencio Summerville (Leeds)

Leeds look set to be the biggest losers of missing out on promotion, with the vultures circling Elland Road. Daniel Farke’s side narrowly missed out on automatic promotion before being beaten in the play-off final, and their talented squad could see several big names depart this summer.

Chief among them could be Crysencio Summerville, who has been linked with clubs at the top end of the Premier League table. Liverpool, Newcastle and Spurs have been named as admirers of the Dutchman after a real season of development in the second tier.

Summerville scored 19 goals and laid on nine assists, led the league for shot-creating actions per 90 minutes, ranked third for successful take-ons, and fourth for chances created.

Jacob Greaves (Hull)

Jacob Greaves has grown with Hull City following their return to the second tier and evolution into a promotion-chasing side, but the defender’s development might just have accelerated past that of his boyhood side.

Hull narrowly missed out on the play-offs and Greaves was an integral part of their season, ranking second in the Championship for aerials won (177), sixth for clearance (198) and eighth for touches (3836).

The 6ft 4in defender has turned the heads of recruiters in the top division and could be the latest name to successfully make the step from Hull to the Premier League, following Harry Maguire, Andy Robertson and Jarrod Bowen.

A natural left-footer, Everton and West Ham – two teams with a history of unearthing second-tier gems – have been named as suitors.

Sammie Szmodics (Blackburn)

Sammie Szmodics exploded in 2023-24 to win the Championship Golden Boot with the best goalscoring season of his career. The 28-year-old managed just five league goals during an underwhelming first season at Ewood Park but blitzed to the top of the scorer’s list this season with 33 in all competitions.

He became the first Rovers player to score 30 goals in a season since Alan Shearer and made his debut for the Republic of Ireland in March. West Ham, Everton and Celtic have been linked with the forward, who could cost in the region of ยฃ15m, while Turkish champions Galatasaray have also been mentioned as suitors.

Szmodics has reiterated his happiness at Blackburn but suggested he could not turn down the opportunity of a Premier League move.

โ€œObviously Iโ€™d love to stay at Blackburn because you want to be the main man and this season Iโ€™ve taken that role and Iโ€™ve loved it,” he said to the No Tippy Tappy Football podcast.

“But like I said, thereโ€™s nothing right now but if thereโ€™s a Premier League team thatโ€™s gonna really give you a shot I think, you know, itโ€™s my dream growing up.

โ€œItโ€™s everyoneโ€™s dream growing up to play at the highest level and Iโ€™ve played in the National League and I have played League One, League Two and now the Championship. I would be stupid, and I know Blackburn fans, obviously, want me to stay and Iโ€™d love to stay but if thereโ€™s an opportunity to go and play in the Premier League.โ€

Gabriel Sara (Norwich)

Norwich are braced for interest in Gabriel Sara with the box-to-box midfielder a driving force in the club’s run to the play-offs. Sara was named Norwich’s Player of the Season following his arrival from Sao Paolo in 2022-23 and has taken his game up another level this season.

The 24-year-old scored 13 goals and provided 12 assists for the Canaries to earn a place in the Championship Team of the Season. He ranked among the division’s top players for chances created (3rd), progressive passes (4th), and shot-creating actions (2nd), form which has seen Roma and Crystal Palace express interest in his services.

Versatile and creative, Norwich will be confident of banking a huge profit on their initial ยฃ6m investment two years ago.

Morgan Whittaker (Plymouth)

Without Morgan Whittaker, Plymouth would be preparing for a season in League One next term. The Pilgrims broke their transfer record to sign Whittaker in a ยฃ1m deal from Swansea last summer, convinced the forward – who had struggled in South Wales – could perform in the second tier after a successful loan last season.

Whittaker had scored nine goals and created seven assists in 25 third-tier appearances for Plymouth last season, before Swansea recalled him in January 2023. After winning promotion, Plymouth returned to sign Whittaker permanently and have been rewarded for their faith.

The 23-year-old scored 19 league goals last season, none from the penalty spot, with only Sammie Szmodics scoring more non-penalty goals. Whittaker also added eight assists, led the league for shots, and had the biggest xG over-performance in the entire division (+6.75).

His league-leading finishing was crucial to the survival hopes of a struggling side, keeping Plymouth in the division. The Devonshire side, who will be under the management of Wayne Rooney next season, face a fight to keep him.

Read –ย The teams with the most points to not earn automatic promotion to the Premier League

See more –ย Five of the greatest Championship play-off moments

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