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Five youngsters who impressed in EFL Championship but could not perform in Premier League

Published at :April 12, 2023 at 7:11 PM
Modified at :December 13, 2023 at 1:01 PM
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(Courtesy : Chelsea FC)

Manav Chowdhury

These players could not show their prowess in the English top flight

When a player tears up the Championship year after year, it seems only logical that they'll be able to recreate that form when they step up to the Premier League. While a fair few are able to adjust, some simply cannot. When out of their depth, they look like a shadow of their former self, and suddenly it seems the Championship was as good as it was supposed to get. If they can't make the cut in the top division, they typically return to the Championship to resurrect their career before absolutely tearing it up again and making everyone believe that maybe, just maybe, they could cut it in the Premier League.

Here are those five youngsters.

5. Ryan Sessegnon

Sessegnon made his breakthrough in the Fulham senior side in 2016, aged 16. He made an instant impact, becoming the first footballer born in the 2000s to score a goal in a first-team game in the professional English Leagues, and the youngest player to score in a Championship match.

In 2017–18, his second season, Sessegnon helped Fulham achieve promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs, scoring fifteen goals and winning numerous personal awards. He totalled 120 games and 25 goals for Fulham, before joining Tottenham for a £25 million fee in 2019.

He was also part of England's U-19 and U-21 teams. But actually, it didn't go very well for him as he was not able to perform as per expectations in the Spurs team and due to quality players in the team he was not getting enough chances. He was loaned to Hoffenheim and made 23 appearances for the team.

4. Harvey Elliott

Having come up through Fulham’s academy, Elliott made his first-team debut for Fulham in September 2018, becoming the youngest player to play in the EFL Cup, aged 15 years and 174 days coming on as a substitute in a 3-1 win against Millwall in the EFL Cup. Six months later, Elliott became one of the youngest-ever players to appear in a Premier League match, coming on as a substitute for André-Frank Zambo Anguissa in a 1-0 defeat to Wolves.

The move to Liverpool followed and Elliott seemed to impress during his eight appearances across cup competitions, without particularly pulling up any trees. Blackburn quickly registered their interest and tied down Elliott to a season-long loan.

The Championship loan route is also tried and tested several players have spent time cutting their teeth in a more brutal, physically demanding environment to eventually return to, and play for, their parent club. He made 41 appearances for Blackburn and netted 7 goals for them, but recently with Liverpool, he is out of form this season and is not performing as he should be.

3. Daniel James

Fastest players in FIFA 22
Dan James is currently out on loan at Fulham

James made his professional debut for Swansea City in February 2018 and signed for Manchester United in June 2019. He made 74 appearances for the club, before joining Leeds United in August 2021. He made his senior Wales debut in November 2018, having previously represented the nation at various youth levels and was part of their squad at UEFA Euro 2020. James also helped Wales qualify for the FIFA World Cup in 2022 for the first time since 1958.

He is among the fastest players in the Premier League and moves with the ball at breakneck speed. In 2019 he was very very close to signing for Leeds United under Marcelo Bielsa but unfortunately, the deal was not finalised in the final moments. Once he was one of the favourites of Marcelo Bielsa but currently James is struggling in the Premier League, in 15 matches this season he only scored one goal and struggling to get his form back.

2. Axel Tuanzebe

Tuanzebe is a graduate of the Manchester United youth system and won both the Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year and Denzil Haroun Reserve Team Player of the Year awards. He made his competitive debut in an FA Cup game against Wigan Athletic in January 2017. He has had three spells on loan at Aston Villa and helped them to win promotion to the Premier League in 2019.

He represented England in U-19, U-20 and U-21 teams. He spent three seasons on loan with Aston Villa and also had a loan stint in Serie A with Napoli. But unfortunately, he didn't make it into the Premier League as the fans expected an academy graduate to make it. To play for United is a big responsibility and he was not good enough. Currently at Stoke City also he is not a starter and plays mostly as a substitute.

1. Conor Gallagher

Beginning his career with Chelsea, Gallagher spent time on loan at EFL Championship clubs Charlton Athletic, Swansea City, and Premier League clubs West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace, between 2019 and 2022. At Crystal Palace, Gallagher was named the club's Player of the Year for the 2021–22 season. He subsequently made his first-team debut at Chelsea during the 2022–23 season. He has made a total of six appearances for the England National team.

Even after performing well in the Championship he has not performed up to the level of the Premier League and is seen as a failure by many Chelsea Fans, many were comparing him to be the next Frank Lampard. Even though he is still young and is yet to enter in is prime age, his inconsistent performances have led to disappointment.