Five stars who could top the Championship scoring charts
A top-scoring striker in the Championship can set teams apart from their promotion rivals and lead to a life in the top flight as Crystal Palace’s Glenn Murray and Southampton’s Rickie Lambert have shown in the past two years.
And with both strikers now plying their trade in the Premier League the door is wide open for a new batch of hitmen to stake their claim for the crown and fire their teams to the promised land.
Here we run the rule over the Championship’s biggest goal threats for 2013-14:
Jordan Rhodes, Blackburn – 8/1 (favourite)
Despite smashing 36 league goals from 40 games in his last year at Huddersfield, many scoffed at the £8m Rovers paid for the Scot, claiming he would struggle to adjust to life in the Championship.
However, a 27-goal return from his first season at Ewood Park has proved the doubters wrong and seen Rhodes attract admiring glances from clubs in the top flight.
That said, Bolton Wanderers are the only club so far credited with a genuine interest and Rhodes has stated he is happy staying put, suggesting his future – for the next season at least – remains in the Championship.
Troy Deeney, Watford – 10/1
Aston Villa youth product Deeney smashed 19 league goals for the Hornets last term and was instrumental in their agonising promotion push.
Hull boss Steve Bruce has been credited with an interest in the 25-year-old since pulling out of a move for Burnley’s Charlie Austin, but with Watford adding a crop of Serie A and La Liga stars to their squad, Deeney will be confident that Vicarage Road can host top flight football next year.
Charlie Austin, Burnley – 12/1
Austin’s style of play is not the easiest on the eye from this quintet of hopefuls, but one thing the former bricklayer guarantees is goals.
Smashing 48 in 42 games for non-league Poole Town was enough to convince Swindon to take a chance on the 24-year-old and 31 in 54 for the Robins saw then Burnley boss Eddie Howe give him his Championship chance.
A 25-goal haul last term almost earned Austin a move to the Premier League, but having failed a medical the forward will have added impetus to fire the Clarets to promotion and finally realise his dreams.
Grant Holt, Wigan – 14/1
Holt was not exactly prolific during his time in the Premier League with Norwich but his all-round play moved many to suggest he was worthy of an England call-up.
Now at Wigan, the 32-year-old will hope experience and two years of playing against some of the best defenders in world football will stand him in good stead as he drops back down to a league where he bagged 21 goals from 45 games in his last full season.
Jermaine Beckford, Bolton – 25/1
Beckford has endured a rocky time in recent years after bagging 20+ goals in three successive League One campaigns at Leeds United.
His Premier League adventure with Everton was far less fruitful and even dropping back down a level to join Leicester City did not guarantee the 29-year-old first team football.
However, seven goals from a 20-game loan spell at Huddersfield show that the Chelsea youth academy product can still cut it at this level and with Wanderers able to offer him the regular football he craves 25/1 represents extremely good value.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.