Final Championship team of the season: Leeds, Leicester quartet included but Szmodics misses out

Lewis Oldham
Championship team season
Abdul Fatawu, Crysencio Summerville and Leif Davis.

Sammie Szmodics and Jack Clarke are notable absentees as four Leeds United and Leicester City stars make it into the 23/24 Championship team of the season.

If you disagree with any of the below inclusions, do not come throwing bricks at our window as WhoScored’s rating system is used as a guide to form this XI of the Championship cream of the crop (at least 30 league appearances are required to be eligible)…


GK: John Ruddy (Birmingham City)
Very few positives have come out of Birmingham City’s season as they slid from being in play-off contention to suffering relegation on the final day, but Ruddy can certainly hold his head high.

The 37-year-old has played in all but two of Birmingham’s games this season as the former England international has proved he still has much more to give. With my biased hat on, I’d argue Rotherham United’s Viktor Johansson is unlucky to miss out. Still, Ruddy’s clean sheet tally of 11 is bloody decent for a ‘keeper playing for a relegated side.


RB: Perry Ng (Cardiff City)
Shock early-season play-off candidates Cardiff City slipped to finish mid-table but this still can be classed as an overachievement after they battled relegation last season. Manager Erol Bulut’s future is uncertain with Greek side Panathinaikos sniffing around (as per Turkish outlet Fotospor) so the German could be on the move and he may be followed out of the door by Ng, who should attract interest from elsewhere in the summer.

The 28-year-old won the club’s in-house Player of the Year award in 2022/23 and he has a strong case for the award this season after finishing the 2023/24 campaign as Cardiff’s leading goalscorer. But his tally of six says a lot about how their strikers have underperformed.


CB: Jacob Greaves (Hull City)
The Tigers narrowly missed out on the play-offs this season and this has harshly cost up-and-coming head coach Liam Rosenior his job.

Ambitious owner Acun Ilicali clearly did not see enough of a return on his investment this season and will want promotion in 2024/25, but his resolve will be tested this summer with interest in 22-year-old Jaden Philogene and 23-year-old Greaves inevitable in the coming months. The pair are arguably £15m-plus talents and the latter has been a consistent rock in defence for four consecutive seasons.


CB: Wesley Hoedt (Watford)
It’s been a miserable couple of years for Watford as they have broken their promotion/relegation yo-yo, but their positive end to the campaign under novice manager Tom Cleverley (I feel very, very old) bodes well for next season onwards.

Former Southampton star Hoedt has been a major asset for Watford in the Championship and he can hold his head high after what’s arguably been his best season in England to date.


LB: Leif Davis (Ipswich Town)
Ipswich invested around £1m to snatch Davis from fellow Championship side Leeds United and this has proven to be a major coup.

After being included in last season’s League One Team of the Season, the influential 23-year-old – like his talented team – has enjoyed a dream season back in the Championship, grabbing 18 assists in 43 games for the Premier League returnees.


CM: Gabriel Sara (Norwich City)
The Canaries splashed out £6m to snatch Sara from Brazilian outfit Sao Paulo last summer and he was one of their few standout performers in what was a disappointing campaign in 2022/23.

David Wagner was under serious pressure at the beginning of this season but Norwich grew into the campaign and Sara has carried on where he left off to help his side book their place in the play-offs. The deep-lying playmaker has been involved in 25 goals in his 46 games and has netted the odd worldie along the way.


CM: Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall (Leicester City)
Having previously shone for Luton Town at this level, Dewsbury-Hall was expected to fire Leicester to promotion and even after an ill-timed sticky patch during the run-in, he did just that as Enzo Maresca’s side finished on 98 points to win the Championship title.

Dewsbury-Hall has successfully stepped out from the shadow of James Maddison and Harvey Barnes but like the ex-Leicester duo, he may be sold this summer as Leicester attempts to wriggle around their Financial Fair Play issues ahead of their Premier League return.

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RW: Abdul Fatawu (Leicester City)
The form of 20-year-old loanee Fataku helped Leicester get on track during the promotion run-in. He was involved in six goals in their title-clinching wins over West Brom, Southampton and Leicester and this was enough to nudge him into this XI ahead of Plymouth Argyle’s Morgan Whittaker.

Sporting Lisbon are renowned for their development of young players and Fatawu is another potential elite talent to progress through their academy. After grabbing 20 goal involvements en route to a Championship promotion medal, the talented winger will be the subject of interest from Leicester and further afield in the summer.


CAM: Georginio Rutter (Leeds United)
Rutter looked set to be a big flop after struggling in the Premier League following his club-record £36m move to Leeds United from Hoffenheim in January 2023.

But he’s been operating in his preferred attacking midfield role and has now flourished in the Championship, grabbing six goals and 18 assists in the league this season. He’s been good but the division’s top scorer – Blackburn Rovers’ Szmodics – would rightly be miffed by his omission.


LW: Crysencio Summerville (Leeds United)
While Rutter is somewhat fortunate to make the cut ahead of Szmodics, Summerville’s inclusion has never been in doubt as the Leeds United star’s supreme performances mean Sunderland’s Jack Clarke is left on the sidelines.

Leeds did well to keep Summerville last summer but they will need to win the play-offs if they are to retain him heading into next season with Liverpool-bound Arne Slot reportedly ‘wild’ about his fellow Dutchman. 


ST: Adam Armstrong (Southampton)
Life has three certainties: Death, taxes and Armstrong smashing it in the Championship while struggling to replicate that same level of form in the Premier League. He’s a Dwight Gayle/Cameron Jerome.

His stellar form in the second tier for Blackburn earned him a Premier League move as Southampton snapped him up. After managing to score just twice last season in the top flight, Armstrong has been back to his best this season and is the only player other than Szmodics to pass the 20-goal mark this term.

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