There are *three* guarantees in life: Death, taxes and these ten Championship stars getting a big move to the Premier League (or elsewhere) this summer.
Whether it’s relegated Premier League players jumping a sunken ship or second tier standouts being rewarded with a major transfer, this talented group of individuals will definitely be on the move before next season…
Alex Scott (Bristol City)
The 19-year-old is the belle of the ball ahead of the summer transfer window with journalist Ben Jacobs reporting that ‘eight Premier League clubs have tracked’ him ahead of this summer’s transfer window.
This is hardly a surprise after the teenager stood out like a sore thumb for Bristol City, who once again had to settle for bottom-half mediocrity under Nigel Pearson in 2022/23.
Regarded as one of the best young players in the Football League, Scott could end up joining Tottenham Hotspur, as they – according to Jacobs – ‘particularly’ have interest in him. If this move goes through, he will hope that his debut season at Spurs goes better than it did for Djed Spence…
Viktor Gyokeres (Coventry City)
“He told us that when they missed out on the Premier League with Coventry after two really good seasons, that he wants to move away.”
Here are the words of Swedish journalist Olof Lundh regarding Gyokeres, who is going to be on the move following two stellar seasons in the Championship. The 25-year-old – who scored 22 goals for Coventry during the 22/23 season – has passed his Championship test with flying colours and he’s now ready to step up.
Burnley and Wolves have joined the race to sign the Sweden international this summer, but our friends over at TEAMtalk are reporting that he is ‘close’ to opting for life in the Europa League with Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon.
Tyler Adams (Leeds United)
Leeds would not have been guaranteed Premier League survival if Adams was fit during the run-in, but their chances of avoiding the drop would certainly have increased if the midfielder was available.
Their relegation proves that Leeds did not utilise the money earned from selling Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha too well, but Adams was comfortably their best signing of the season.
The USA international could cost as much as £40m this summer, with Man Utd and Liverpool (probably falsely) being linked with him. A switch to Aston Villa or Nottingham Forest – who are also keen – feels a lot more feasible.
James Maddison (Leicester City)
Maddison and the Championship do not belong together in 2023 and the midfielder was never going to stick around after Leicester City’s relegation was confirmed last month.
Despite Leicester’s relegation, the 26-year-old was still able to grab 10 goals and nine assists in the league: a tally impressively reached in just 30 appearances.
Maddison could be swapping life in the Championship for a season in the Champions League as Newcastle United are renewing their interest in him, while Spurs are also admirers of Leicester’s £55m-rated asset. Given the trajectory of each club, there is only one team he should be joining this summer.
Harvey Barnes (Leicester City)
New Foxes boss Enzo Maresca is likely to have significant funds at his disposal this summer with Barnes – who is expected to cost £30m – set to jump ship along with Maddison.
Barnes rivalled Maddison for the tag of being the best player in a relegated Premier League team in 22/23 as he scored 13 league goals for Leicester as they ultimately ended up in the bottom three.
The Telegraph reckon European champions West Ham are ‘most serious’ about signing the Foxes standout, but they could now face competition from Arsenal. Mikel Arteta’s side are throwing their weight around already this summer and Barnes is one of two potential buys for the Gunners on this list.
Chuba Akpom (Middlesbrough)
If I’d told you a year ago that in June 2023, Akpom will be in line for a huge move to the Premier League, you’d think I was influenced by a high consumption of alcohol. But here we are.
Novice manager Michael Carrick helped to unearth a goalscoring behemoth as Akpom netted 28 goals in the Championship in the 2022/23 campaign.
Middlesbrough were well-fancied to get promoted via the play-offs but with Carrick’s side being made to settle for another season in the second tier, their chances of keeping Akpom are fading. TEAMtalk are once again here with the scoop, with their information indicating that Crystal Palace and Everton are ‘on alert’ for the ex-Arsenal man.
Romeo Lavia (Southampton)
As mentioned earlier, Arsenal are not messing around this summer. Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber have emerged as two main targets, while they want Lavia to combine with £100m-rated Declan Rice as part of a new-look midfield.
Southampton were a shambles in 22/23 as they were relegated with a whimper, but ex-Man City defensive midfielder Lavia was one player who could hold his head high.
City benefit from having a buy-back option for the 19-year-old, but a move to Arsenal appears more likely at this stage. Though they will have to be wary of that fearful (but realistic) prospect of *another* Chelsea hijack.
James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)
As bad as the Saints were during their relegation season, they were pretty solid in central midfield.
By now, Ward-Prowse is proven as a more-than-capable operator at Premier League level and he also happens to be the best free-kick taker in the world (by my reckoning).
Southampton took the bold step of having Ward-Prowse front and centre during the unveiling of their 2023/24 home shirt. Their supporters should not get too excited as the 28-year-old should surely seal himself a return to the Premier League and it’s needed if he wants to give himself any hope of playing at next year’s European Championships…
Jack Clarke (Sunderland)
A transfer to Tottenham hampered Djed Spence’s career, and the same can also be said for Clarke, who swiftly drifted into insignificance following his move to London from Leeds United.
Quite how Clarke is only 22 is beyond me, but he has enjoyed a career renaissance at Sunderland. His nine goals and 12 assists for the Black Cats boosted their play-off push under Tony Mowbray and he has shown his doubters exactly why Spurs once valued him as a £10m player.
While you may argue that Clarke would benefit from another season of flourishing at Sunderland, he’s earned a second crack at being a Premier League player and for any side in the bottom half, it would be a no-brainer to sign him this summer.
Joel Piroe (Swansea City)
The Championship has benefitted from an influx of talent from the Eredivisie in recent seasons, with Piroe and Millwall’s Zian Flemming among the best of them.
41 goals in 88 Championship games is a tally not to be sniffed at and Piroe’s two years of honing in the second tier has set him up to exit the Welsh club this summer.
With Russell Martin and Ryan Manning already gone, things are looking far from rosy at The Swansea.com Stadium and the sale of Piroe to a Premier League team would be another severe blow.