When the transfer window opens next month, there is a strong chance Premier League clubs will look to the English Football League to bolster their squads.
In recent years, the likes of Eberechi Eze, Said Benrahma, Ollie Watkins and Jarrod Bowen have stepped up from the lower leagues to make an impact in the top flight.
Here is a look at five potential targets for Premier League teams in January.
Ben Brereton Diaz
Since his first call-up to the Chile squad, Ben Brereton has not only added ‘Diaz’ to his name but also goals to his game. The 22-year-old has netted 20 times in the Championship so far this season, helping Blackburn into third place and firmly in the promotion picture heading into the new year. Brereton Diaz has been a revelation since featuring in the Copa America in July but he is out of contract at Ewood Park in the summer and is one of the leading contenders tipped to make the move to the Premier League from the EFL in the January window. Brereton Diaz could follow in the footsteps of his former team-mate Adam Armstrong, who made the switch from Rovers to Southampton in summer 2021.
The QPR winger has made quite the impression this season following an impressive end to the last campaign, chipping in with six goals and three assists so far as the Hoops have moved into the play-off places. The 24-year-old Morocco international already has a Sky Bet Championship Goal of the Month award to his name this season for his impressive strike against Blackburn in October.
Brennan Johnson, 20, has been a key component in Nottingham Forest’s resurgence since Steve Cooper took charge at the City Ground. Johnson was recently described as one of the best young talents in the league by Hull boss Grant McCann after he scored in a 2-1 win against the Tigers. The youngster, who impressed during a season-long loan spell at Lincoln last term, has five goals and three assists to his name and many admirers.
Swansea forward Joel Piroe has been a shining light for Russell Martin’s side this season and it is no secret there is Premier League interest in the 22-year-old. Piroe been linked with a move to FA Cup winners Leicester in recent weeks after his scintillating form in the Championship has seen him score 12 goals in all competitions. The Dutchman has only been with the Swans for a matter of months since his summer move from PSV, but he is already a wanted man.
Derby captain Tom Lawrence has been heavily linked with a move away from Pride Park on a free transfer in January due to him being one of the club’s top earners and considering the club’s current financial state. Watford, Norwich and Burnley are all rumoured to be interested in the 27-year-old Wales international, who has five goals and three assists to his name this campaign. Along with Lawrence, some of the Rams’ young talent have also apparently been the subject of top-flight interest, with Jason Knight, Max Bird, Louie Sibley and Jack Stretton all linked with clubs elsewhere.
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