Ollie Watkins is the latest player that has risen up from the Championship to make a decisive impact in the Premier League. Watkins was signed by Aston Villa for £28m after Brentford failed to earn promotion to the top flight. The 25-year-old was sensational for the Bees in the second tier, but has managed to raise the level of his game among elite opponents.
He has found the net with regularity for the Villains and earned a call-up to the England squad, and scored on his debut against San Marino. It has been quite the meteoric rise for the forward, but Watkins will not be the last player to emerge from the Championship and make an impact in the top flight. These two players could be next, either with their current clubs or with a potential transfer.
Reading have a star in the making in the form of Olise. The 19-year-old has been sensational this season. He was an instrumental part of their surge for the playoffs that ultimately just fell short of the mark, although the Royals will be hopeful in retaining his services for a push next term.
They will be one of the leading contenders in the Championship betting odds based on their performances last season. Olise’s impact cannot be understated and he will certainly draw attention from Premier League teams during the summer. The midfielder has come through Reading’s academy after failing to make the grade at Manchester City.
Mark Bowen and Veljko Paunovic’s faith in the midfielder in the fledgling years of his career has been rewarded. This season under Paunovic, Olise has developed all facets of his game in the final third, with over 15 direct goal contributions. He is just beginning to scratch the surface of his potential and will only improve with further time on the pitch. Olise’s game is somewhat similar to Eberechi Eze, and teams would love a player of that calibre in their ranks.
The Blackburn Rovers forward will certainly be one to watch over the summer months as there will be no shortage of suitors for his signature. The 24-year-old has gradually developed his game in the Championship after leaving Newcastle United in 2018 on a permanent basis to sign for Rovers. Armstrong had loan spells with Coventry and Bolton Wanderers to display his exploits in the lower leagues. However, it took time for Armstrong to make an impact with Rovers, scoring only five goals in 44 appearances in his first campaign at Ewood Park.
Armstrong took the next step in his development by notching 16 Championship goals last season. His confidence has grown tremendously in the final third, becoming a predator in the box. The forward has scored over 20 goals for Tony Mowbray’s side in the current campaign, only Ivan Toney and Teemu Pukki have scored more than the former Newcastle man. At 5ft 6in, Armstrong is a whippet in the box and will no doubt have his detractors suggesting that he could not cut the mustard in the Premier League. It would be foolish to write him off and there should be a litany of clubs pursuing a move for the forward.