Gone are the days where Premier League clubs buying from England’s second tier was scoffed at.
The Championship boasts some prodigious talents and given the league’s relatively low profile in comparison to the top tier, there’s often some bargains to be had (or you could spent £30m+ on Ollie Watkins).
With the impact of the coronavirus seeing the transfer window deadline extended until 5th October, Championship clubs face an agonising wait as the top-tier vultures ominously circle their standout players.
Let’s take a look at the players who could be set to bypass the rigours of a gruelling 46-game campaign as they’re granted a fast track to the Premier League with a ‘summer’ move.
1. Michael Olise
Reading’s Michael Olise is rumoured to be on the radar of a host of Premier League sides, including Arsenal, Wolves and Leeds.
The France Under-18 international looks a special talent, and looks set to leave the Madejski Stadium with just 27 senior appearances to his name.
The 18-year-old creative midfielder enjoyed a privileged youth career at Chelsea and Manchester City before moving to the Royals in 2016. He can play anywhere across the three behind a striker, and is renowned for his eye for a pass.
2. Saïd Benrahma
It’s no secret that Benrahma looks set for bigger and better things.
Whether Brentford could have held onto the Algerian wizard had they been promoted we’ll never know, but after two stellar seasons in the Championship he’s proved to be well worthy of a shot at the big time.
While a number of clubs have lodged an interest in the 25-year-old, Crystal Palace’s interest appears to be growing stronger by the week, though the future of Wilfried Zaha could well have a part to play in this transfer saga.
3. David Brooks
Having made a name for himself in the second tier with Sheffield United, Brooks finds himself back in the Championship following Bournemouth’s relegation – but he won’t be there for long.
With Manchester United’s pursuit of Jadon Sancho looking no closer to completion, the Red Devils appear to be casting their eye over alternatives with Brooks one of those being considered.
Whether it’s just a tactic to put pressure on Borussia Dortmund we’ll never quite know, but Brooks is unlikely to remain at Bournemouth regardless of his future destination.
4. Gerard Deulofeu
Relegation from the Premier League often sees big-name players suddenly become injured or ill and subsequently they're unable to play. Weird that.
Deulofeu is one of those players, with the Spaniard currently on the road back to fitness/in heated discussions with his agent about finding a new club.
While a move abroad seems the most likely outcome, Crystal Palace have been named as a potential suitor for the former Everton man, as Roy Hodgson looks to add some quality to his misfiring Eagles side.
5. David Raya
When a team performs so brilliantly yet narrowly misses out on promotion they tend to be ransacked the following summer - something Bournemouth look set to discover.
Goalkeeper David Raya is on Arsenal's summer wish list, though it remains to be seen whether they'll continue their pursuit should a deal for Icelandic goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson be struck.
Brentford are rumoured to have demanded a goalkeeper on loan from the Gunners if they're to agree to Raya's departure – although with Emi Martinez gone, it's hard to see who's good enough.
6. Rico Henry
It took Rico Henry a little time to settle into life at Brentford (and by 'a little time' we mean just 34 league appearances in three years), yet 2019/20 represented a watershed moment for the left-back as he appeared in every Championship game for the club.
His standout performances from left-back have caught the attention of Aston Villa, Brighton, Leeds and Leicester, with a move to the Premier League looking imminent.
7. Josh King
Despite notching just six Premier League goals last season, Josh King is a wanted man.
Former employers Manchester United have been long-time admirers of King, while Aston Villa have more recently lodged an interest in the Norway international.
With Callum Wilson already sold to Newcastle, Bournemouth won't want to lose too many more of their frontmen so close to deadline day.
8. Troy Deeney
No sooner had Watford's relegation to the Championship been confirmed did Troy Deeney decide to stand in front of the TV cameras and announce he deserves to be playing in the Premier League - an interesting reaction to being relegated to say the least.
In truth he's too good for the second tier and a move looks likely, with West Brom keen to secure his signature and Tottenham also said to be eager to secure a deal.
9. Danny Welbeck
Both Besiktas and Fenerbahce are in the hunt for former Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck, but Southampton are also keen to strike a deal with the Hornets.
Watford have placed an asking price of £5.5m on the England international, and while his injury record doesn't make for pretty reading, if he can stay fit the 29-year-old could prove to be a steal.
10. Emi Buendia
Emi Buendia's figure of 83 chances created last season was only bettered by Kevin De Bruyne, Jack Grealish and Trent Alexander-Arnold - not bad in a side rooted to the bottom of the table.
The little Argentinian is said to wanted by both Leeds and Aston Villa, and at just £20m he could prove to be a quality piece of business.
11. Ismaïla Sarr
Ismaïla Sarr had looked destined to join Premier League champions Liverpool following Watford's relegation, though the Hornets' insistence on holding out for £40m has seen the Reds' interest wane.
Manchester United are also said to be interested in the winger, though with no firm offer yet to be placed it remains to be seen where Sarr will be playing his football next season.