As the best second-tier competition in the world, EFL Championship is always a great place to see rising talents as the clubs go horn-to-horn for either survival or promotion. In the top 5 championship players in 2021-22 season, we list the latest.
5- Philip Billing
The Denmark international who was among the Cherries’ outstanding stars during their Premier League time is once again helping them for a return to the English first tier as he’s already scored 6 goals and provided three assists during 16 appearances, helping Bournemouth top the Championship table.
Starting his career at Huddersfield Town, after performing well for both the under-18s and under-21s, he made his first-team debut for the club as a substitute in their 2–0 loss against Leicester City at the John Smith’s Stadium on 26 April 2014.
On 29 July 2019, Billing signed for Premier League AFC Bournemouth on a long-term contract for a £15 million fee, being given the No. 29 jersey.
Billing scored eight goals in the Championship for the 2020–21 season also being his most prolific goal-scoring season to date, making him a perfect candidate for the Best players in Championship 2021.
As recently as last season, more combative team-mates such as Jefferson Lerma, Ben Pearson, and Lewis Cook were favored in a two-man midfield, which allowed then-manager Jonathan Woodgate to repurpose Billing as a No 10.
While this position switch unleashed Billing’s attacking potential (he scored seven goals and provided four assists in the final 15 league games of 2020-21), it only served to solidify the notion that he doesn’t have the necessary defensive steel to protect his defenders when playing in a deeper role.
4- John Swift
Among the best Championship players 2021/22 is the former Chelsea player, John Swift.
Starting his career with the Blues, Swift had loan spells at Rotherham United, Swindon Town, and Brentford before signing a three-year contract with Reading on 14 July 2016. On 27 March 2017, Swift was nominated for the EFL Young Player of the Year award along with Ryan Ledson and Ollie Watkins.
Continuing his great form, Swift has scored 8 goals and provided 7 assists in the 17 Championship appearances he made this season.
The Midfielder is strongly linked with a January move to Leeds United and Burnley. Speaking in February 2020 Bielsa said: “[John] Swift is a great player.
“I value him a lot. He is a player who appears suddenly in attack and the same in transition between defence and attack. But he’s especially good when he passes from the defence to the attack.”
However, his outstanding performances couldn’t help Reading be any place better in the table than the 19th position.
3- Dominic Solanke
The former Chelsea and Liverpool forward, who joined Bournemouth on a £19.08m deal in 2019, is the Cherries best player of the season so far as he has scored 13 goals and provided an assist in 17 appearances.
Although after joining the Cherries he initially struggled at the Cherries, taking 18 months to register his first goal, following their relegation to the Championship Solanke has stepped up to be the team’s talisman.
He notched 15 goals last season as Bournemouth fell short at the play-off semi-final stage. This term he has already scored 13 times, with Scott Parker’s side sitting pretty at the top of the league – eight points clear of third-placed West Brom and having tasted defeat just once this season, being among the top 10 Championship players in 2021-22 season.
On his time at Liverpool, Solanke recently said: “I enjoyed my time (at Liverpool) and I learned a lot.
“I was around some really nice people and top players. I wouldn’t say I’ve got any regrets. I just wanted to go out and play.
“I want to get back to the Premier League and prove that I can be a regular goalscorer there. That’s the main thing I want to achieve right now. My confidence is a lot different to how it was back then.”
2- Harry Wilson
Another former Liverpool player in the list of the best players in Championship 2021 is Fulham’s summer bargain, Harry Wilson, who signed for the London club for a £12.60m fee last summer.
Contributing 5 goals and 6 assists in his 14 Championship appearances, the Welshman was essential to Fulham’s hopeful start of the season as they are currently second in the Championship table and pushing for automatic promotion.
Number two in our list of the top 10 Championship players in 2021-22 season is a regular for his national side as well. Making 6 appearances for Wales in their World Cup qualifiers, the 24-year-old winger has made 3 assists and scored a goal.
In order to get the very best from Wilson, he has been deployed in an attacking position that gives him multiple options in a fast-paced attack. Wilson has been at the centre of many attacking situations. His involvement in attacking situations has made him a crucial player for Fulham. To lead on from the analysis of his positional awareness in attacking positions, Wilson’s goal-scoring abilities combine well with such technical awareness.
Wilson said previously on the reason he had to leave Liverpool and why that gives him an extra encouragement for his career: “Then we played Manchester City in the Community Shield at Wembley and I was 19th man. The disappointment of that really hit me. I felt that was my chance, and it had gone. I thought I’d done all I could, and I think that was when I started to accept that I’d have to leave.”
1- Aleksandar Mitrovic
Topping our list of top 10 Championship players in 2021-22 season, Mitrovic is on course to smash the Championship’s goalscoring record to smithereens as he has already scored 20 goals in 17 appearances for Fulham.
After an unsuccessful spell at Newcastle United, the Serbian finally found his form in Fulham. Mitrovic can easily end up as one of the best Championship players of all time if his form is extrapolated throughout the season, he could even be threatening the 50-goal mark. The current goal record since the second tier became the Championship belongs to Brentford’s Ivan Toney, who hit 31 last term as the Bees sealed promotion to the Premier League.
“I just keep going game-by-game,” Mitrovic said. “I try to score as much as possible and for me the most important thing is that we’re playing well as a team.”
Being the stand-out performer in the Championship so far this season, it seems his outstanding contribution to Fulham’s promotion quest has not gone unnoticed.
The 27-year-old striker signed a new five-year contract last summer which, the report claims, sees him rake in more than £100,000 a week if he meets all of the club’s performance targets.
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