TT’s Top Five: Players to watch in the Championship this season

Date published: Saturday 6th August 2016 12:57

Matt Ritchie: Made Newcastle debut against Fulham

Matt Ritchie: Made Newcastle debut against Fulham

TEAMTalk takes a look at five players to keep an eye this season as the first weekend of the new Championship season gets underway.

5: Kemar Roofe

Kemar Roofe: Arrives at Elland Road from Oxford (Image -

The highly-rated striker had a prolific season last year with Oxford United. He was instrumental in their FA Cup defeat of Swansea and in their promotion to League One, scoring 26 goals in 48 games.

After being named in the League Two Team of the Year, Roofe was snapped up by Leeds United for a reported fee of £3m.

The 23-year-old is now looking to prove himself at a higher level, and if he can continue on from last season’s form he could help fire a constantly underachieving Leeds side towards the play-off places.

4: Shane Duffy


The former Everton centre-back had a brilliant summer at the Euros with Ireland. After interest from a number of Championship sides, Duffy looks set to sign a new contract with Blackburn Rovers which will be a huge relief to their fans.

He was at the heart of one of the division’s best defences last season and his commanding presence at the back will be key to Blackburn if they are to fight off an expected relegation battle this campaign.

3: Britt Assombolonga

during the Sky Bet Championship match between Nottingham Forest and Fulham at the City Ground on September 17, 2014 in Nottingham, England.

After a hellish stretch on the sidelines, Assombolonga is finally fit again and will want to hit the ground running after 18 months out. Having scored 54 goals in 117 league games before his ligament trouble, the 23-year old Congo international will be key to Forest’s aspirations this season, if they are to defy the bookmakers and make a push for promotion.

2: Matt Ritchie

Matt Ritchie Newcastle

Newcastle have an embarrassment of attacking riches this year and despite having the likes of Mitrovic and Perez, it could well be Ritchie that has the biggest impact on the team this year. He was outstanding for Bournemouth when they won the Championship with the ability to create and score goals, and having someone in the team that has been there and done it before will be vital to Benitez.

1. Steven Fletcher

Steven Fletcher: Officially leaves Stadium of Light

One of the summer’s most eye-catching moves, Steven Fletcher is in the last-chance saloon as far as his career goes. After successful spells with Burnley and Wolves, Fletcher went to Sunderland for £14m but flattered to deceive.

Despite this, there is undoubted quality in the boots of Fletcher and if he can find his feet with a Sheffield Wednesday side that were so close to promotion last year, he could well be the difference to lead the Owls back into the top-flight.

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