Ten EFL stars that Premier League clubs should sign this summer: Brereton Diaz, Johnson, Willock…

While more and more money is being spent on big transfers in the top flight, very often a star from the lower leagues can prove himself.

Ivan Toney, Jamie Vardy and Andy Robertson are stars who once plied their trade in the lower leagues of English football, but who could follow in their footsteps this summer?

zack williams

The left-back and ballplayer is out of contract at Crewe this summer, so the option would be for any suitor to pay the Cheshire club through court or make a one-on-one deal.

Either way, Williams is a prodigious talent who is incredibly confident playing from behind, and would suit a possession-based team operating a three-man defence. With Brighton playing as a back three and having recently lost Dan Burn, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Seagulls interested in Williams this summer.

The 17-year-old can convert an opponent under pressure and change games with ease, with the potential to rise to the top, both with Wales and at club level.

Dan Neill

Dan Neil Sunderland 21 September vs Accrington

Neil may not have expected to play as big a role in Sunderland’s season as he has, starting 31 league games.

The youngster initially got his chance due to a dearth of natural options at left-back in pre-season, and he performed so well that, even when Dennis Cirkin later came in to fill that role, Neil earned opportunities in a more favorable midfield. role.

The 20-year-old has the ability to go long distances to play as a number six, but the agility and quick feet to operate as a number eight show his versatility and make him an attractive proposition, especially for teams that encourage lots of rotations. in midfield: Leeds are reportedly interested.

Isaiah Jones

Isaiah Jones Middlesbrough February 22

One of the reasons Middlesbrough have not suffered on the pitch since their decision to loan local talent Djed Spence to Nottingham Forest is the form of Isaiah Jones.

The 22-year-old endured a challenging loan spell north of the border last season and as such was not expected to make such a noticeable impact on the first team in 2021/22.

Not only does Jones have blistering pace, which makes him a great threat over long distances, but he’s also highly intelligent and knows when to slow down and cut the ball off for a teammate.

If Antonio Conte wants someone at Tottenham who can take on a role similar to the one Victor Moses played for his 2016-17 Chelsea team, Jones is worth a look.

Brennan Johnson

Brennan Johnson, Nottingham Forest

Johnson has been one of the most exciting young talents in the Championship this season.

After a productive loan spell at Lincoln, the son of former Nottingham Forest striker David Johnson has conquered the second division with 13 goals and seven assists.

While the 20-year-old’s pace makes him a useful outlet for the counterattack, it’s his agility that sets him apart from the rest: he can change direction multiple times very quickly, allowing him to escape challenges and close in on the ball. goal.

Brentford is interested in Johnson, and given how well they’ve recruited since promotion, they must be right.

josh bowler

Josh Bowler, Blackpool

Bowler endured an uneventful loan spell at Hull in 2019/20, when it was clear the winger was quick and skilful but had little else in his repertoire.

Since leaving Everton permanently, the former QPR man has taken on new dimensions in his game under manager Neil Critchley at Blackpool.

The bowler is now able to squeeze into gaps of space between defense and midfield to lay down a through ball for a striker, all while remaining the best ball carrier in the Championship, averaging 2.6 dribbles per game. match.

Additionally, Bowler may pose a greater goal threat, having found the net seven times for the Tangerines, so it’s no surprise that Bournemouth are reportedly lining up for a summer bid.

scott twine

Scott Twine, MK Dons

Some would see it as a risk for a Premier League club to sign a League One player at 22, because that’s the age at which recruits would be asked to be part of the immediate first-team squad rather than joining the development team.

However, we have seen Ivan Toney score 24 goals in 32 appearances at that level for Peterborough, then have a staggering 2020/21 campaign in the Championship for Brentford and effectively fall out of reach for most Premier League clubs: Now, it’s taste. from Arsenal who might be interested.

If care is not taken, Premier League clubs could also miss out on Twine, who has scored 15 goals and recorded 11 assists in 39 league games for MK Dons, making him arguably the best player in the division.

rice lane

Paddy Lane, City of Fleetwood

This has been an impressively big season for Lane, who has scored five goals and provided eight assists for a struggling Fleetwood team.

Lane can be considered a ‘Mezzala’, a roving attacking midfielder who likes to support play down the right channel, link up with the corresponding full-back and striker, and then receive the ball into the spaces around the box, where he can loop. . a ball to the far post or a shot from distance.

The 19-year-old has a bright future, both for Northern Ireland, which he has represented in various age groups up to Under-21, and in terms of his club career.

However, any Premier League team that signs Lane should loan him out to a good League One team next season, with a view to them taking the football championship the following year and then some top-flight action.

chris willock

Chris Willock, PR

QPR have been flattered to cheat at times this season and, with the team in poor shape, manager Mark Warburton is about to be sacked despite the progress that has been made since he first took over.

What carried the R’s through much of the campaign, and at times made them firmly in the mix on paper, were individual moments of brilliance: some came from Ilias Chair, many from Chris Willock.

The attacking midfielder not only keeps the ball high, allowing the West Londoners to sustain attacks in the final third, but is also the third-biggest assister in the league, leaving the ball for teammates to score 11 times and averaging 2.2. dribbles per game

Not only that, Willock is also capable of launching rockets from outside the box and has scored seven goals this season, three of which have come from outside the box.

Ben Brereton Diaz

Ben Brereton Diaz, Blackburn Rovers

Blackburn opted to retain top scorer Brereton Diaz in January, believing the forward to be indispensable to their promotion offer.

They have been unlucky since then, with the Chilean striker ruled out for two months through injury, although the 22-year-old played 45 minutes in a 2-2 draw at Coventry and his return could make a big difference to Rovers in their quest for a place in the top six.

Brereton Diaz could struggle to play with his back to goal in the Premier League, but if he is positioned to the left of a front three as an inside striker, he could get out of hand at a team like Southampton who favor high pressing and quick transitions. .

Also, Brereton Diaz would be available to poach for free, should he turn down a new contract at Ewood Park.

Lewis O’Brien

Lewis O'Brien, Huddersfield Town

It’s no secret that former Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa was a huge admirer of Lewis O’Brien and the energy, dynamism and tenacity he brings to the Huddersfield midfield.

If El Loco’s successor, Jesse March, thinks the same, then Los Blancos can bet on the 23-year-old, giving them more depth in midfield after a campaign interrupted by injuries.

O’Brien should not be considered a replacement for Kalvin Phillips, but stylistically he is closer to Mateusz Klich, who is now 31 and may need a long-term heir.

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