When the summer transfer window opens up on the first of July, Premier League clubs will begin the bi-annual practice of bringing in new players to bolster their squad.
Whether a club are an established side in England’s top division, or a freshly promoted team trying to make their mark at the highest level, the season of transfers gives everyone the opportunity to grow. While most Premier League sides will look for new talent abroad, there are plenty of quality players in the lower tiers of English football just waiting to become the next star.
Here are six forwards currently tearing it up in the Championship who could be set for a move to the highest level and where they could potentially end up.
Oliver McBurnie (Swansea City)
22-year-old Scottland international Oliver McBurnie has been on fire for the Swans this season, scoring 18 goals in 35 matches in all competitions.
With Swansea currently sitting 14th in the Championship, ten points back from a spot in the promotion playoffs, McBurnie may see this as an opportunity to test himself at the next level. Valued at around £4.5m, the Scottish forward would be a bargain deal for any Premier League side if he can keep up his current goalscoring rate.
Suitable Transfer Destinations: Brighton may want to bring in a younger striker with the Seagulls’ current top scorer Glenn Murray already well into his 30’s. Murray is the only Brighton player with more than ten goals(13) this campaign and the team will need another forward to pick up the slack if the 35-year-old’s production dips.
Kemar Roofe (Leeds United)
Kemar Roofe has scored 14 goals and provided an assist in a season which has seen the 26-year-old suffer two separate injuries keeping him out for a third of the campaign.
Roofe is set to return for the Peacocks against Birmingham City after the forward has missed the past two months with a knee injury. With Leeds currently sitting in second place, Roofe could potentially be set to play in the Premier League with his current club. If Leeds fall apart in the final stretch of the season, expect Roofe to be on the move to a club in the top division.
Suitable Transfer Destinations: Crystal Palace, Southampton and Wolves were all interested in the 26-year-old prior to the January window so it would come as no surprise if these clubs come calling at the end of the season.
Jarrod Bowen (Hull City)
Jarrod Bowen is one of many players in recent memory to come through the ranks of English football, starting with non-league side Hereford United.
Bowen made his debut for Hull City in the Premier League back in the 2016/17 season and has probably benefitted the most from the side being relegated to the Championship. The 22-year-old forward became a key player in Nigel Adkins’ side last season and has continued his fine form this campaign.
Suitable Transfer Destinations: Bowen was linked to Everton in January but dismissed the rumours in the winter window, as he was committed to the Tigers. Southampton are also debating whether to bid for the forward with Championship top side Norwich City the third team interested in his signature.
Neal Maupay (Brentford)
Neil Maupay moved to the Championship from Saint-Etienne back in 2017 and has become one of Brentford’s most successful purchases. The former France U-21 international has scored an impressive 23 goals and provided eight assists in 41 matches in all competitions this season.
Maupay has a knack of always being in the right place in the right time and his instinct has led to many goals this season. Premier League clubs are always searching for the next big attacking talent, but normally pay a huge transfer fee to acquire a proven goalscorer. Maupay could be the answer for one of the clubs that can’t afford to shell out £40m+ for such a player.
Suitable Transfer Destinations: Maupay has only been linked to Huddersfield in recent transfer windows, but with the Terriers already relegated that wouldn’t be a step up for the forward. At some point, Brighton will have to replace Glenn Murray and for around £10m Maupay would be a steal for the Seagulls.
Jack Clarke (Leeds United)
Jack Clarke is another striker from Leeds United that deserves a serious look from Premier League clubs. With the ability to play on the wing or up front, Clarke provides the type of versatility that every top club should be searching for.
Already dubbed ‘The Diamond of Yorkshire’ at the young age of 18, Clarke has all the talent to become a star at the highest level. The young forward has only played 17 matches for Leeds this campaign but he has shown the skills worthy of a Premier League move.
Suitable Transfer Destinations: Any Premier League club would be lucky to have Clarke on their books, but the 18-year-old won’t want to sit around in the youth sides for very long. Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester United are all rumoured to be in for the Leeds youngster so it seems as if he will have his pick of the lot when the time comes to depart Elland Road.
Jay Rodriguez (West Brom)
29-year-old Jay Rodriguez would provide a Premier League club with a proven top-flight goalscorer. Although Rodriguez didn’t have the flashiest numbers in the top flight, he has put up 19 goals and five assists in the Championship this season.
A Premier League side would know exactly what they are getting if they bring in Rodriguez, and this bit of security could prove to be a factor in the final decision by a club.
Suitable Transfer Destinations: Burnley are the favourites to land the former England international. Rodriguez has previously played Turf Moor in the 2011/2012 season when the club were still playing in the Championship.