Six of the most underrated Championship players this season

Ben Stewart
Wes-Foderingham

As we approach the halfway point of this Championship season, we thought it would be worth picking out six of the most underrated players so far from this campaign.

 

1) Neeskens Kebano (Fulham)
It’s hard to stand out in a side with as much star power as this Fulham one. Aleksandar Mitrovic, Fabio Carvalho and Harry Wilson have grabbed plenty of headlines so far this season, but Neeskens Kebano has been just as important.

He has been involved in nine goals so far this season (four goals, five assists) but it’s his overall performances which have really stuck with me. His ability to wriggle out of tight situations and get Fulham up the pitch has been a massive help. He has completed more dribbles (29) than any other player in the Fulham squad this season so his contributions shouldn’t go under the radar.

 

2) Nathan Thompson (Peterborough)
Of the newly promoted clubs this season, Peterborough have found it the toughest to adapt to the new level, but that’s not to say that some of their players haven’t stood out. Thompson has probably been their most consistent performer this season and he’s looked more than capable at this level.

Only Huddersfield’s Lewis O’Brien has won more tackles than Thompson, who has won 57 so far.

 

3) Ryan Manning (Swansea)
When Russell Martin first deployed Ryan Manning as a left-sided centre half it seemed like he was just there to temporarily fill a gap, but he’s managed to flourish in the role so far. Naturally a full-back, Manning has transitioned well into a back three this season alongside Ryan Bennett and Kyle Naughton.

His ability on the ball has been useful in developing Martin’s system of building out from the back and he’s still chipped in with five goal contributions.

 

4) Connor Townsend (West Brom)
The modern-day wing-back is judged more on their goal contributions than their defensive abilities it seems and while Townsend may only have two assists to his name so far, his creative numbers have been off the charts.

Townsend has produced more key passes than any other player in the West Brom squad and has more key passes than any other Championship defender with 37 this season. If West Brom’s forwards were a little more clinical, Townsend would be getting plenty more attention. His defensive instincts have also served him well so far as he has made seven more tackles than anyone else in the Baggies squad this season.

 

5) Andrew Hughes (Preston)
Preston have struggled for consistency so far this season and as a result of that, head coach Frankie McAvoy has paid the price. One of the few North End players who has flown under the radar this season though has been Andrew Hughes. Previously seen as a steady full-back at this level, he’s transitioned well into his new role as a left-sided centre-half in a back three.

Hughes has won more aerial duels than anyone else in the North End squad with 72 and his assured presence at the back has led to a string of consistent performances.

 

6) Wes Foderingham (Sheffield United)
After being nicknamed ‘League One Wes’ by Paulo Di Canio back in 2012, the goalkeeper is now making a name for himself in the Championship with Sheffield United. Coming in for the injured Robin Olsen, Foderingham has certainly staked his claim for the number one spot since being given the chance.

He has kept three clean sheets in his last four matches and has the fourth best save percentage of any Championship goalkeeper with 76.2%. The Blades have looked more assured at the back since Foderingham has come in and the results have picked up too.