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Fulham teen & 4 more youngsters ready to shine in Championship

| 01.08.2017

The drama in last season’s Championship lasted right up to the final penalty of the play-off Final, as Christopher Schindler’s strike sent Huddersfield Town up to the Premier League at Reading’s expense.

This term, a new crop of bright talents will be looking to write their name in the history books. Here are the top five we’re tipping to go from young prodigies to second-tier stars this season.

Ryan Sessegnon (Fulham, LB)

Probably the most high-profile name on the list, the 17-year-old is also the youngest. And the expectation surrounding the local lad – who made 18 starts in the Championship last year – is huge.

A classy passer of the ball with lightning pace, he also has a goalscoring record some strikers would envy, netting seven times in his 30 first-team outings, including a stunning brace in March’s 3-1 victory away at Newcastle United.

Ollie Watkins (Brentford, CF)

Prolific hitman Watkins ran riot in League Two last term, helping an otherwise mediocre Exeter City side reach the play-off Final, chalking up 21 goals during the campaign, including a crucial double to oust Carlisle United in a thrilling semi.

Add 13 assists to that, and you have one of the most exciting prospects in English football. That’s a view held throughout the game, with the 21-year-old named EFL Young Player of the Year for 2016-17. We have few doubts about him mastering the step up to the Championship.

Sean Goss (Queens Park Rangers, CM)

A key cog in Manchester United’s Under-23 side, the youngster excelled in Premier League 2 last term, with his classy passing and composed displays, before swapping the North-West for West London in January.

He’s been bedded in slowly by R’s boss Ian Holloway, with just six appearances to his name – though he shone in March’s 2-1 defeat of Cardiff City. Expect the former Red Devils youngster to be a much bigger fixture at Loftus Road in the coming year.

Jason Cummings (Nottingham Forest, CF)

While most fans south of the border won’t know a huge amount about the 22-year-old, he was lethal for boyhood club Hibernian, netting 48 goals over the course of the past two seasons, before joining the Reds early in this window.

A speedy, tricky forward with an eye for a spectacular finish, Cummings has all the attributes to be a success. Having matured – on and off the pitch – in the past 12 months, the East Midlands outfit have picked up the Scot at the perfect time.

Matthew Pennington (Leeds United, CB)

Despite netting in a Merseyside derby and keeping Manchester United’s star forwards quiet during his smattering of Everton appearances last term, the Toffees have sent the 22-year-old out on loan. And that’s great news for Leeds fans.

Combative, good in the air and firm in the tackle, his all-action play, and tireless work-rate will quickly endear him to the Elland Road faithful. And if he can shore up the Whites’ backline, that could be the difference-maker which sees them secure a play-off spot – or better – this term.

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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing



Dave Burin

Dave graduated with an MA in English Literature at Durham University, and worked in marketing before joining the Ladbrokes News team. A Man United fan and avid groundhopper, he’s also an ardent follower of Rugby League. You can usually find him at a ground near you, clutching a big cup of tea.