5 Football League stars who deserve a crack at the big time
The January transfer window is in full swing, and these are the players that could earn themselves a Premier League move.
Ben Brereton (Nottingham Forest)
Brereton broke into the Nottingham Forest first-team picture in January 2017, having scored 15 goals in 20 games for the academy side.
He made his professional debut on 25 January 2017 against Leeds United, before scoring his first senior goal in a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa 10 days later.
The teenager finished last season with three goals, having been largely restricted to substitute appearances.
Now firmly in the first-team picture, the 18-year-old wide forward has started 12 of his 20 appearances in all competitions and hit another three goals.
His list of admirers, according to the Nottingham Post, include Tottenham, Crystal Palace, Everton and Leicester, and after his fine display in Forest’s 4-2 victory over Arsenal in the FA Cup third round, Brereton may not be a Championship player for much longer.
James Maddison (Norwich)
A fine performance and assist against Arsenal in the fourth round of the EFL Cup in October thrust Maddison into the attention of the national media.
But the 21-year-old playmaker has been impressing, either for Norwich or out on loan, since his £3m move from Coventry at the age of 17.
That experience has culminated in career-best figures for Maddison this term, netting seven goals in all competitions and laying on another five so far.
He has also created 63 chances for the Canaries this season, more than any other player in the Championship, so it is no surprise he is attracting interest from above.
Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City have all taken an interest in the England under-21 international, according to the Independent, and it would be no surprise to see them move fast to secure the services of the youngster.
David Brooks (Sheffield United)
Brooks was preparing himself for a loan spell with League Two Chesterfield in June last year, going the other way as part of the deal that brought Ched Evans back to Bramall Lane.
But after an excellent showing for Wales U20s at the Toulon Tournament, Chris Wilder decided to take a closer look at the 20-year-old.
Seven months and 23 appearances later, Brooks is an important member of the Blades’ play-off-chasing squad.
He scored his first senior goal, which also turned out to be the winner, after coming off the bench away to Leeds in October and has also registered three assists so far.
Brooks was also called up to the senior Wales squad for the first time in September and made his debut in their 2-0 defeat against France two months later.
Despite signing a new contract with the Blades in October, a continuation of his current form will surely see firm interest from reported suitors Liverpool and Tottenham, .
Ryan Sessegnon (Fulham)
We touted Sessegnon for a big move in the previous transfer window and interest in the youngster has only intensified as the season has progressed.
The left-sided player has been an ever-present for Fulham in the league, scoring seven goals in 26 appearances.
That he has managed to become such an important part of the Cottagers’ starting XI at the age of just 17 is testament to his ability and on-pitch maturity.
With rumoured interest from Tottenham, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain, reported by the Mirror, the Championship club will have a difficult job trying to keep hold of their prized possession.
Mohamed Eisa (Cheltenham)
After banging in 57 goals in 100 appearances for eighth-tier Greenwich Borough, Cheltenham manager Gary Johnson took a gamble on Eisa.
And the Sudanese-born striker has acclimatised well to life four levels up.
His consolation goal in a 2-1 defeat on the opening day at Morecambe was a sign of things to come, but he announced himself in the next match.
The 23-year-old scored a brace away to Oxford in the EFL Cup second round, including goal-of-the-season contender in extra time, as the Robins won 4-3 and dumped the League One side out.
Having performed so impressively after making the step up in summer, a move to misfiring Swansea or West Brom is not out of the question.
Have you ever wondered about how a big-money signing comes together? Then read our interview with Jon Smith, football's original super agent.