Sky Bet Championship: A look at some of the players who could move to the Premier League in January

We look at some of the potential January transfers to the Premier League

The transfer window is drawing closer with January around the corner and clubs in the Premier League will already be lining up potential moves.

The second window of the season often sees big moves made, with teams looking for reinforcements for a variety of reasons.

Chelsea elected to pay £58m for Christian Pulisic in what was the highlight of the 2019 edition, but there have of course been significant moves in the years prior.

Philippe Coutinho's £142m switch to Barcelona from Liverpool in 2018 remains the biggest move to happen in January. Then there's the step down in price to £75m for Virgil van Dijk when he moved to Anfield from Southampton shortly after.

The likes of Aymeric Laporte at Manchester City, Fernando Torres to Chelsea and Juan Mata to Manchester United also commanded big fees when they signed in the winter window.

Those transfer fees are often driven by the 'supply-and-demand' market, with teams sometimes priced out of a move for their intended target.

That means that some Premier League clubs may look to the Sky Bet Championship for players who provide value for the second-half of the season.

Tom Carnduff looks at some of those who could make the step up a division in January.

Jarrod Bowen

Jarrod Bowen has already has direct involvement in eleven goals, but he is by no means a one-season wonder.

The forward was linked with a switch to the Premier League in the summer, such was his good form throughout the 2018/19 campaign.

He netted 22 goals for a Hull side who finished comfortably in mid-table during that season, adding another four assists alongside that.

The 22-year-old has demonstrated the various abilities needed for a forward to succeed. Dribbling is firmly in the strengths column, as is finishing - opportunities created by both himself and others.

While that skill on the ball often sees chances from close range, Bowen can also strike from distance. He's a player entrusted to deliver in certain set-piece situations.

What doesn't seemingly get enough credit is his defensive contribution. While there is a preference to attack, Bowen has no issue supporting the full-back or drifting in centrally to provide numbers in midfield.

Chances: 7/10 - This seems like a move that makes so much sense for a Premier League team. Bowen has all the attributes needed to play in England's top flight and at the age of 22, he has his whole career ahead of him. The one stumbling block is the £20m price tag placed on him by Hull. Some teams will be put off paying that much for a player who only has a handful of Premier League appearances.

Destination: Southampton - The Saints have already signed one player from the Sky Bet Championship in Che Adams, and Bowen would be a welcome addition to a side who would prefer to attack. Finishing chances has been a weakness, while they have been wasteful at times which has affected their points return. With a potential relegation fight if things don't improve, Bowen would be a player to make the necessary impact. There would be a likelihood of him occupying a more central role if he was to make the switch to the south coast.

Ollie Watkins

The forward has seemingly enjoyed playing more centrally following the departure of Neal Maupay to Brighton in the summer.

The 23-year-old has ten goals in 16 appearances this season and will be a name of interest to those on the hunt for a striker when the window opens again.

Watkins has already matched his tally of ten goals that he posted in the 2018/19 campaign, although he was deployed in his more natural left-wing role then as part of a forward three.

What it does demonstrate is that ability to line-up in any of the three main forward spots. The Brentford man also has small experience in the attacking midfield area.

That versatility would be of use to more than one side in the top-flight, but the goals record will also provide an appeal.

Chances: 7/10 - This does depend on how Brentford are doing, and if they live up to their xG they should push further up the table by the time January comes. We have seen forwards move up a league in January though as teams look for goals without having to pay too much with the typical January transfer window inflation. That is not to say that the price tag won't be big, but not large enough to put off a potential buyer.

Destination: Crystal Palace - Palace have been crying out for a forward with Jordan Ayew the preferred choice to Christian Benteke. Wilfried Zaha can be deployed in that central role but there should be a preference to keep him out wide. Watkins' ability to play in a number of forward positions will suit whether they line-up in a 4-5-1, 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 formation. A left-winger could also relieve the pressure on Jeff Schlupp's shoulders.

Eberechi Eze

Eberechi Eze continues to impress as the season goes on with a number of eye-catching performances for QPR.

The ability to dribble and drive forward has been a major contributing factor in the six goals he has already scored from the attacking midfield positions this season, alongside a further four assists.

Eze is a player with all the characteristics of being a fan-favourite. The speed and advancing dribbles go alongside an ability to keep hold of the ball which leads to fouls against, particularly as he looks to cut inside to beat a defender.

If current form continues, and of course a move in January doesn't materialise, the 21-year-old is a potential Player of the Season candidate - with a spot in the Team of the Season a near certainty based on what we've seen.

Chances: 5/10 - A talented player but Premier League teams are likely to prefer to monitor his season before committing to a move. He's enjoyed a great Championship campaign, already beating the goal tally he produced in 2018/19, and there is a good chance that those who will be interested are willing to be patient. His lack of Premier League experience may also be added into the equation of the short-term impact he will make but showings over the next two months could be enough to sway a club into making an approach.

Destination: Newcastle - A club that could welcome some reinforcements in the wide areas, particularly if they are in or around the relegation zone in January. Miguel Almiron hasn't had the desired effect since his record-breaking move last summer and Eze could offer something different to Matt Richie and Christian Atsu - the two other main options out wide.

Ben White

Ben White has had loan spells in Sky Bet League Two and then Sky Bet League One, but his step-up to the Championship has made him look like a player with a wealth of experience at this level.

The centre-back fits Marcelo Bielsa's philosophy of what is needed in a defender - those strong defensive attributes but the ability to carry the ball forward and pick out a pass.

White has quickly grown into a fan favourite at Leeds and there are always questions surrounding a potential loan recall to Brighton in January, such is the impact he has made during his time in West Yorkshire.

The 21-year-old seemingly doesn't feel pressure and will look to always to find a player as opposed to needlessly turning over possession - that includes looking to go around attackers who are pressing and trying to win the ball back.

White is a star of the current Championship season and a player who potentially possesses an international future.

Chances: 4/10 - While he does look a Premier League ready player, Brighton will likely be happy watching his progress with a team who will be fighting for promotion in the league below. His development at this stage in his career is imperative and Leeds seems like the ideal environment to continue to develop the areas of strength.

Destination: Brighton - Liverpool have been linked with a move but it does make sense for Brighton to use him if a loan recall did happen. Shane Duffy, Lewis Dunk and Dan Burn have established themselves as the preferred defensive trio, with Adam Webster also able to come in to the back line. White does offer something different with his ability on the ball though and the signing of Webster from Bristol City in the summer, as well as the appointment of Graham Potter as their manager, suggests that they have no issue in looking to the Championship for talent.

John Swift

The midfielder seems to go under the radar in the Sky Bet Championship, particularly when it comes to discussing transfer targets, but John Swift possesses all the right attributes for a player in his position.

The ability to dribble, pick out key passes and play those through balls to the attackers are all eye-catching elements - but he also has the defensive contribution to support the back line.

The Royals benefit from the set-piece presence. Picking out a pass also transfers to dead-ball situations, while he can strike when those opportunities are in shooting distance.

Swift's age of just 24 also means that there is plenty of time to continue that development. His presence in the centre of the pitch hasn't be receiving the wider credit that it deserves.

Chances: 4/10 - A player who is continuing to show that he is a Premier League standard player, particularly given his switch from Chelsea back in 2016 and not having too much opportunity to demonstrate what he can do there. Regular first team football has aided his development but no side has really shown that they are screaming out for a central midfielder in January.

Destination: Burnley - While Reading have him, mostly, part of a midfield trio, Swift could come in and provide support to the preferred central midfield options of Ashley Westwood and Jack Cork. The midfield is a fairly packed area of the squad for Sean Dyche at the moment but Burnley's habit of attacking through the centre will suit a player like Swift.

Conor Gallagher

It's been a wonderful season so far for Conor Gallagher, with the 19-year-old enjoying his first loan spell away from Chelsea.

He made the temporary switch across London in the summer to Charlton and has hit the ground running in new surroundings with five goals and two assists in 16 Championship appearances.

Gallagher has shown the ability to line-up in five different midfield positions so far and has performed in each role. His attributes suit all areas in the centre of the pitch.

An eye for goal has helped with those five goals scored, but being able to strike from distance, an ability that many players don't have, will likely see that number hit double figures by the time that season concludes.

Another eye-catching trait is comfort on the ball, which allows him to dictate proceedings and make his presence felt.

Chances: 2/10 - Chelsea have started to look to youth more since Frank Lampard was appointed, but they'll be happy to see him continue his development while in a starting role at Charlton.

Destination: Chelsea - While it is unlikely, Chelsea's trust in younger players like Fikayo Tomori and Mason Mount has shown that they are currently having no issues in looking to those with Championship experience. He won't get into the midfield ahead of N'Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mount - but potential injuries in the build-up to January might see Gallagher brought back for numbers.


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