Scouting Report: 7 New Championship Stars Who Could Take the League by Storm

With the start of the 2017/18 Championship season upon us, there have been plenty new signings who will be expected to make a big impact on their club's promotion hopes this year. 

Here are seven of the best to look out for... 

1. Rúben Neves (Wolves)

With 92 top flight appearances by the age of 20, a UEFA European U21 Championships runners-up medal and an undisclosed price tag thought to be in the region of £17m, Portuguese midfielder Rúben Neves is not your average Championship signing. 

An acute sense of positioning, great vision and the ability to build up attacks from the base of midfield has drawn comparisons to a young João Moutinho and the former Porto man will look to be the heartbeat of Wolves’ promotion push.

A senior Portugal international since 2015 and once tracked by Man United and Liverpool, Neves certainly has the potential to be one of the signings of the season.  

2. Diogo Jota (Wolves)

The name Diogo Jota may not raise the eyebrows of many English football fans, but Wolves’ loan signing from Atlético Madrid featured an impressive 55 times for Porto last season. 

Another young Portuguese player to make the trip to Molineux, the attacking midfielder can also feature off the left-wing and stunned Primeira Liga side CD Nacional with his first hat-trick at the age of just 19. 

Wolves’ wealth of attacking options means that a spot in the first team will not come easily, but do not be surprised if Jota’s pace and flair causes problems this season.  

3. John Fleck (Sheffield United)

In John Fleck Sheffield United have a deep-lying playmaker who produced 16 assists in League One last season and walked into the division’s Team of the Year. 

The former Rangers man caught the eye early on at Coventry City for his maturity at the heart of the midfield. Fleck moved to Sheffield United in 2016 after collecting both Coventry’s Players’ Player and Fans’ Player of the Year awards and being described by then manager Tony Mowbray as being ‘the oil in our machine’. 

Fleck will once again be relied upon to provide chances for 30-goal striker Billy Sharp and will remain a key player as the Blades aim to battle against relegation.  

4. Jason Cummings (Nottingham Forest)

Since joining Hibernian as an 18-year-old, young Scottish striker Jason Cummings netted 71 times in 150 appearances and earned himself a move to Mark Warbuton’s Nottingham Forest. 

While SPL legends Kenny Miller and Kris Boyd have shown that the bridge from the Scottish top tier to Championship football is not an easy one, Cummings’ pace and ability to shoot from range will certainly provide defenders with a lot to think about. 

Britt Assombalonga’s departure means that Cummings will be leading the line at the City Ground and hopefully the 21-year-old will be able to retain his form in Scotland which saw him named in the PFA Scottish Championship’s Team of the Year two years running.  

5. Neal Maupay (Brentford)

Aged at just 16 years and 32 days, new Brentford signing Neal Maupay made his debut for Ligue 1 side Nice and went on to become the second-youngest player ever to score in the French top flight. 

The forward has 16 goals for France at youth level and joins the Bees on the back of scoring 12 times for Ligue 2 outfit Brest in a season which saw the side miss out on the title by just 2 points.

Brentford are a mostly youthful side with strengths in attacking with pace and Maupay will be expected to provide competition for last season's 16-goal striker Lasse Vibe.

6. Jordan Archer (Millwall)

Millwall goalkeeper Jordan Archer may have featured once during Millwall’s relegation from the Championship in 2015, but his minimal impact means that the former Spurs goalkeeper is an unseen player for most Championship sides.

After winning Player of the Year in his full debut campaign with the Lions in 2016, Archer was once again a key player in Millwall’s promotion-winning side. 

A ‘keeper known for his athleticism, Archer pulled off one of the saves of the season back in February 2016 after heading a lobbed backpass over his own crossbar against Peterborough.  

7. Cameron McGeehan (Barnsley)

After being released by Chelsea at the age of 16, Cameron McGeehan then went on to scoring twice against his former side and captaining Norwich City to FA Youth Cup success in 2013.

Luton Town’s former Young Player of the Season joins a Barnsley side run ragged by recent transfer windows which have seen the Tykes lose 7 first team players in just over a year. 

The 22-year-old, who is capable both as a holding midfielder and travelling box-to-box, scored 11 times for Luton last season before a broken leg in January ended his season early. McGeehan was coveted by Barnsley for a while and will be expected to play a key role as the Tykes look to cement themselves as a championship side.