Unless you have been living under a rock, you will know that there has been a brilliant fight for promotion in the Championship over the past few weeks. There were many ups and downs in what has been yet another topsy-turvy ride in the second tier of English football. AFC Bournemouth won the title on the final day of the season, which meant Watford finished in second. Norwich took up the final spot following their play-off final win at Wembley.
Some of the new boys will be looking forward to those big games against the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal. Some on the other hand may be just as excited about naming themselves in their fantasy football teams! So with the league season at an end, will any of these players have a chance to feature in our fantasy football teams and if so, who are those you should be looking out for?
The common headline here is ‘rags to riches’ as on the February 28th 2009, AFC Bournemouth were sitting 23rd in League Two. On April 27th 2015, they saw themselves secure promotion to the Premier League. With this, here are some players we should consider in next season’s fantasy teams:
Callum Wilson (Striker) – The English frontman finished off the campaign with 20 league goals, capping off a brilliant campaign for the Cherries and has been crucial in the team’s surge to the automatic promotion places. Signed last year, the forward managed to score twice on his club debut, but can he do the same on his Premier League debut?
Matt Ritchie (Midfielder) – What more could you want from your midfielder than bags of goals, quality on the ball, and some fantasy football points? The Scotsman Matt Ritchie managed to find the back of the net 15 times, which was more than Eden Hazard. 17 league assists also shows that he is a real team player, but can he do the same at the pinnacle of English football though?
Steve Cook (Defender) – The Cherries defender Cook has been another crucial player for them in their pursuit of promotion. The defender played in every single one of their league games in the Championship, bringing in 5 goals and 2 assists as well. Bournemouth have managed to be defensively solid during the majority of the season, with a total of 16 clean sheets in the league.
Despite having four different managers in less than ten months, the Hornets have done remarkably well to find themselves finishing in the top two and reaching the promised land that is the Premier League. Their fantastic winning run towards the end of the season has shown that they do have some class players:
Troy Deeney (Striker) – The captain has grabbed himself 21 goals this season, along with 10 assists. Not a bad return at all, and he is definitely worth keeping an eye on. It can be a difficult transition for players when they move from the Championship to the Premier League, but you don’t just score 21 goals by luck! Will Deeney be the new Charlie Austin?
Odion Ighalo (Striker) – Twenty league goals for the Nigerian powerhouse forward has been a more than impressive return for the Hornets, especially considering this is the same league goal tally that Diego Costa boasts for the 14/15 campaign. He has the ability to run past people as well as shrug defenders off the ball. Can he keep this up in the Premier League?
Craig Cathcart (Defender) – This Northern Irishman actually started his career in the Premier League with Manchester United, proving that he does indeed have the capability of playing at the top level. He has helped Watford to fifteen clean sheets, and also chipped in with three goals, so he could be a dark horse for our FPL teams.
The Canaries showed good spirit and determination to be the only side to bounce back immediately, following their relegation last season. It was not an easy ride though, having to achieve this through the torture that is the play-offs. Here are some of their key stars:
Nathan Redmond (Midfielder) – We saw last season how much of a talent this Norwich winger is, as Redmond was bagging bonus points on a fair few occasions. His goal in the play-off final was what helped secure a return to the top tier, and thirteen assists in the league is rather promising for our 2015/16 teams.
John Ruddy (Goalkeeper) – It is fair to see the majority of us are already aware of how good Ruddy can be on his day, shown by the fact that he was selected in the England squad for the World Cup last summer. 14 clean sheets, having played in every single league game, is good going and he would not make a bad addition to our line-ups.
Cameron Jerome (Striker) – Another Championship striker with twenty goals to his name, this Canaries forward has had spells in the Premier League before with the likes of Stoke City. It did not work out for him however, but a season in the league below would have done him the world of good in terms of confidence and experience.
The three newly-promoted teams have certainly provided us with much more food for thought when thinking about options. Once the fixture list is released, it will become a lot clearer who and where these newbies will fit in. 2015/2016 looks like it could have some terrific additions already nonetheless.