Premier League Transfers: Six Stars That Could Have Been Playing Championship Football This Season

Here's a look at some Premier League signings that could easily have been playing in the Championship this season

Premier League Transfers: Six Stars That Could Have Been Playing Championship Football This Season

It seems that we have finally reached a period where the transfer window is starting to hot up and there have been some interesting deals done. This will be the first of several transfer themed articles to come. What’s going to be different about this one though is it will crossover between the Premier League and the Championship.

The concept here is simply a case of looking at some of the deals that Premier League clubs have done for players that would now be playing in the Championship if those moves didn’t happen. So, hopefully, this one will be of interest to both Premier League and Championship supporters as well as those fans of the clubs mentioned. Obviously, by association, I am also indicating that these are good deals that should be successful.

So, now we have that out of the way – let’s get stuck into the selections…

1. Jacob Murphy (Newcastle United) Transfer Fee Estimate: £9.61m

Jacob Murphy was a surprise success at Norwich City last season and was certainly not expected to have been the regular starter that he was. When the Canaries sold Nathan Redmond there was certainly an opportunity to be seized on the right side of midfield, and when new signing Sergi Canos didn’t get the opportunity – Jacob was the big winner.

After the club underperformed last season, changes to the squad were expected. However, a substantial offer for Norwich’s 22-year-old winger did come out of the blue. There may be a concern that the player isn’t yet ready for the Premier League. After all, he has only played one full season in the Championship.

However, Murphy has all the attributes needed to be a top player including pace, trickery, and an end product. The explosive winger showed some of that quality last season with nine goals, six assists, and an average rating of 6.96 in the Championship last season. Hopefully, playing in the Premier League will only allow him to develop further, which should lead to England caps and special league moments.

2. Tom Ince (Huddersfield Town) Transfer Fee Estimate: £7.74m

I know there are plenty of mixed feelings about the qualities that Tom Ince has, but I’ve always been a huge fan of what the player has to offer. The attacker started his career at Liverpool, but never really got an opportunity with the Premier League giants.

Therefore, it was at Blackpool, in the Championship, where he really started to show what he can do. It’s a shame that the move to the Premier League with Hull City didn’t really work out – so he has been rebuilding his career again, in the Championship, with Derby County. Again, his stats have been impressive with 14 goals, six assists and an average rating of 7.18.

Ince is similar to Murphy in various ways as he is an attacking player with good end product, loads of pace, and prefers to play on the right wing. The player is now 25 years old and will have learned various things from his earlier spell at this level. Huddersfield have been a surprise success story and could just be the perfect fit for this attacker to really excel in the Premier League.

3. Jermain Defoe (Bournemouth) Transfer Fee Estimate: £0

Bournemouth might have captured the signature of striker Jermain Defoe on a free transfer, but they will certainly be paying him a hefty weekly wage. Nevertheless, it was a real coup for them to sign him and many people would have expected Defoe to end up at a bigger club.

So far in this article, I have discussed the young talent that has been on the move. However I might want to dress this one up – there is no question that this player is no youngster. Of course, that comes with its own risks such the higher probability of injuries.

Eddie Howe will be thinking that he needs a player that guarantees goals to keep his club in the Premier League. All being well that is exactly what he is getting and Defoe’s contribution to Sunderland’s goal tally over the years is proof of that. Last season, he was again on his game with 15 Premier League goals in 37 games.

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4. Jordan Pickford (Everton) Transfer Fee Estimate: £24.23m

This isn’t by design, but we are moving from one former Sunderland player to another one. Of course, the focus has now switched back to the younger generation of players as we discuss goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. Some of the media have reported the fee to be as high as £30m, but that would only come into play after several add-ons.

Like a lot of people, I was a little surprised by the size of the fee that Everton paid for Pickford. However, there are several reasons behind it. First of all, England doesn't produce many top-quality goalkeepers and at 23, he could be playing in the Premier League for the next 10 years or more.

The player certainly had a stunning first full season in the EPL with an average rating of 7.04. Of course, it’s difficult for a goalkeeper to stand out in a struggling side that are leaking goals from every direction. However, some of the saves that Pickford pulled off were truly exceptional and brought him to the attention of the Everton scouts. What’s crucial for Pickford now though is he continues to play regular football in the Premier League.

5. Will Hughes (Watford) Transfer Fee Estimate: £7.74m

Will Hughes is a player that has been regarded as hot property for as long as I can remember. The midfielder is now 22 and has over 180 career appearances behind him. Of course, he is another player in this list that has left Derby County in the search of Premier League football and Watford have taken the gamble on him.

What’s interesting about the move is Hughes didn’t have an exceptional year last season with two goals, three assists and an average rating of 6.87 to show for his efforts. The concern is that sometimes Premier League teams like to stockpile English talent to get around certain rules and regulations regarding their squad.

You’d hope that Watford will give the midfielder his share of game time – but that is by no means guaranteed. It’s interesting that Hughes has spent his entire professional career with Derby and is not someone that has been sent out on loan – so the move could prove to be a culture shock for him. The talent is certainly there though as shown by the 22 caps he has won for the England U21 side.

6. Charlie Taylor (Burnley) Estimated Transfer Fee: £0

Charlie Taylor is a graduate of the well-established Leeds United youth system and has been constantly regarded as one of the best left-backs outside of the Premier League. Therefore, when the opportunity presented itself – Burnley were quick to snap the player up on a free transfer.

Again, Taylor has really good experience despite his young age, which includes 163 career appearances at the age of 23.  The player did not have a standout season with three assists and an average rating of 6.86. As previously stated, it’s important for young players to continue to get regular games in order to aid their development.

Burnley are still establishing themselves in the Premier League and will be hoping to survive for the second successive season. Of course, that kind of thing can cause pressure but Sean Dyche has proved himself to be a capable manager, this should prove to be a good move for Taylor.


This completes the content section for this article that reviewed some of the players that could have been playing in the Championship this season. We are also expecting good things from these players and will be monitoring their progress carefully. You can also read about some of the best signings from Championship clubs this season.

If you enjoy my Championship content, keep an eye on my profile page as there will be plenty more to come from me shortly. I will be having a look next at reviewing the clubs that have been most active during the transfer window in the Championship so far this summer.


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