Championship

The January departures that would have a huge impact on the Championship

Ross Jackson
Jan 12, 2021, 6:30 PM GMT
Emiliano Buendia could be on his way to the Premier League
Emiliano Buendia could be on his way to the Premier League | Stephen Pond/Getty Images
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The January transfer window is a precarious time in any Championship club's season.

While every team is desperate to bolster their ranks, the need to hang onto the players they already have at the club can be just as great.

Could Josh King be set to depart the Vitality Stadium?
Could Josh King be set to depart the Vitality Stadium? | Naomi Baker/Getty Images

The decisions made over the next few weeks could be absolutely pivotal in many Championship sides' campaigns, as they're forced to choose between cashing in on their prized assets and keeping hold of their best players in a bid to achieve their goal.

With the vultures beginning to circle, we take a look at the Championship players who are being linked with moves away from their respective clubs, and the impact their departure could have on their side's season.

1. Jason Knight

Jason Knight is rumoured to be wanted by Leeds
Jason Knight is rumoured to be wanted by Leeds | Tony Marshall/Getty Images

Let's not try and sugar coat this, Derby have been absolutely rubbish this season.

Results have picked up a little since Wayne Rooney and Liam Rosenior were appointed co-interim managers following Phillip Cocu's departure, but they still find themselves languishing in the bottom three.

One of the few positive the Rams can take from their season so far is the form of Jason Knight. The youngster has built on his 2019/20 breakthrough season and now looks a big part of the club's future.

However, with both Leeds and West Ham rumoured to be chasing the 19-year-old's signature, if Derby do choose to sell then they risk cashing in on an asset who could help them avoid relegation to League One.

2. Bright Osayi-Samuel

Bright Osayi-Samuel is a wanted man
Bright Osayi-Samuel is a wanted man | James Chance/Getty Images

Losing Jordan Hugill and Eberechi Eze was never going to be easy, and so it's proved.

Queens Park Rangers are just two points above the relegation zone having gone nine without a win, and the news that Bright Osayi-Samuel is being targeted by Scottish giants Celtic and Rangers - as well as Fenerbahce - couldn't have come at a worse time.

The 23-year-old's pace and trickery have become a huge part of his side's play, and if they are to lose him in the coming weeks it'll be a huge dent to their survival hopes.

3. Marcus Tavernier

Marcus Tavernier has been brilliant for Boro this season
Marcus Tavernier has been brilliant for Boro this season | Alex Burstow/Getty Images

Marcus Tavernier struggled to cement his place in the Middlesbrough starting XI when he first broke into the first-team setup. However, given time to mature he's beginning to show the Teesside faithful just what he can do.

The midfielder already has 100 appearances for Boro to his name - despite being just 21 years of age - and Neil Warnock looks to have helped him add some much-needed consistency to his game.

Tavernier's performances this season haven't gone unnoticed, with Leeds just one of the Premier League sides said to be keeping tabs on him.

Boro are well in the mix for a play-off spot at the very least, and they can ill afford to part ways with one of their most creative sparks if they want to be in with a shout of promotion.

4. Emiliano Buendia

Emiliano Buendia is being courted by Arsenal
Emiliano Buendia is being courted by Arsenal | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

This one goes without saying really.

Norwich did well to hold onto Emiliano Buendia in the summer with Arsenal rumoured to be interested in the Argentinian. However, his stellar performances in the first half of the season have seen the Gunners renew their interest.

Buendia's seven goals and seven assists in just 19 games have helped propel the Canaries to the top of the table, and if the club's hierarchy decide to sell him in January it'll be a huge blow to their promotion credentials.

5. Alex Mowatt

The Barnsley captain is the subject of multiple bids
The Barnsley captain is the subject of multiple bids | James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Barnsley have been one of the league's surprise packages this season.

It seems like Groundhog Day every year with the Tykes - they look down and out, then they string together a run of results in May and somehow manage to avoid the drop. However, this season they're only looking up.

Valerien Ismael's side sit just three points off the top six and harbour genuine promotion hopes, but if they decide to sell captain Alex Mowatt they can say hello to mid-table mediocrity best.

The central midfielder has been the subject of two recent bids from fellow Championship sides, and the Barnsley hierarchy have a huge decision on their hands.

6. Josh King

Josh King could be on his way back to the top flight
Josh King could be on his way back to the top flight | Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Bournemouth have done brilliantly to keep in touch with those setting the pace at the top of the Championship. The spine of their squad was ripped out in the summer, not to mention boss Eddie Howe departing.

However, they did manage to keep hold of a few star names, including Josh King. The Norwegian has struggled with injury this season, though given the game time he'll undoubtedly be a huge asset in the second tier.

Numerous Premier League clubs are said to be courting the Cherries frontman including Everton and West Ham, but Jason Tindall will want to keep hold of the 28-year-old until the end of the season at least.

7. Michael Olise

Michael Olise is a wanted man
Michael Olise is a wanted man | Alex Burstow/Getty Images

Is there a player in the Championship that Leeds aren't interested in?

In fairness to Marcelo Bielsa, it's not quite a scattergun approach. Leeds have been linked with a number of players in both the Premier League and the Championship, and it's clear Bielsa has pinpointed the need for some pace and trickery in the wide areas.

Reading's Michael Olise would provide that in abundance, though his linkup play with Lucas Joao has been a big reason as to why Reading have gone from relegation candidates to promotion hopefuls. The Royals will be desperate not to lose the talented teenager.

8. Harvey Elliott

Harvey Elliott has been superb this season
Harvey Elliott has been superb this season | Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images

Speaking of talented teenagers - Harvey Elliott makes 19-year-old Olise look old.

Alright, so it's not technically a 'departure' as Blackburn wouldn't be selling him, but there's a genuine possibility that Liverpool will recall him.

Whether the Reds want to loan him out to a top-flight club (given he's clearly too good for the Championship) or even recall him to Anfield so he can help their threadbare squad, there's a chance he could depart Ewood Park this month, and that could spell curtains for Blackburn's promotion hopes.

9. Ismaila Sarr

Could Ismaila Sarr be on his way out of Watford?
Could Ismaila Sarr be on his way out of Watford? | Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

It took Ismaila Sarr a bit of time to get going in this season's Championship, though that's understandable given the amount of speculation he was forced to endure over the summer.

The 22-year-old has four goals and five assists to his name in the league this campaign, and in a Watford side that really does find it difficult to break teams down, they can't afford to part ways with the Senegal international if they don't want another season in the second tier.

10. David Brooks

David Brooks is yet again the subject of Premier League interest
David Brooks is yet again the subject of Premier League interest | Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Rumours regarding Aston Villa's pursuit of David Brooks are beginning to pick up pace, and that's never a good sign.

Villa have developed a knack for picking off the Championship's best talent in recent years, and the signing of Brooks would almost definitely be another success story.

The Bournemouth man has been as busy and productive as we've come to expect him to be this season, and with the Cherries just two points off the automatic promotion places, now is not the time to go selling their best players.

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