The best young players of the 2020-21 Championship season
In this strangest of seasons, defined by behind-closed-doors football and coronavirus-related restrictions, it has perhaps been more difficult than usual for young players to really make their mark in the Championship. The role a live crowd plays in spurring on the team and encouraging young players can’t be underestimated, and this season that fan presence has been sorely lacking.
However, there are still a number of young players who have excelled in the Championship this term, helping their team’s chances as the English Championship odds updated throughout the season. Let’s take a look at the standout performers.
Bryan Mbeumo (Brentford)
As the only remaining member of Brentford’s famous ‘BMW’ frontline, which also included Ollie Watkins and Saïd Benrahma, Bryan Mbeumo has gone from strength to strength for the west London outfit. Striking up a new partnership with star striker Ivan Toney, 21-year-old Mbeumo has continued to excel, notching seven goals and 11 assists. Toney might take most of the plaudits, but the supporting role of Mbeumo must not be forgotten.
João Pedro (Watford)
It’s been a fine campaign for Watford, earning automatic promotion in their first season back down in the Championship, and the form of youngster João Pedro is another reason to be cheerful. The Brazilian arrived at Watford while they were battling relegation in the Premier League last season, and he has thrived in the Championship this campaign. Nine goals is a decent return for a 19-year-old, and it’s clear that Pedro has a bright future ahead of him.
Harvey Elliott (Blackburn Rovers)
Speaking of bright futures, the form of 18-year-old Harvey Elliott can’t be overlooked. Arriving at Blackburn on a season-long loan from Liverpool, the talented youngster has been brilliant throughout the campaign, helping Rovers escape contention in the English Championship relegation odds. With six goals and an impressive 11 assists, there has been much about Elliott’s performances to inspire hope in Liverpool fans that he could be a star in waiting.
Michael Olise (Reading)
Although Reading missed out on the play-offs in the end, the form of Michael Olise is a real positive for Royals fans to take out of this season. Just like Blackburn’s Elliott, Olise has notched six goals and 11 assists this season, and the attacking midfielder will have a major role to play next season as Reading seek to gain promotion. Of course, there are bound to be clubs sniffing around to try and prise Olise away from the Madejski Stadium, but that is simply proof of the 19-year-old’s supreme talent.
Oliver Skipp (Norwich City)
On loan from Tottenham Hotspur, 20-year-old Oliver Skipp has played a big role in Norwich City’s fine Championship-winning season. Skipp brings a sense of control to the midfield, and this has been vital in allowing players like Emiliano Buendia, Todd Cantwell and Teemu Pukki to produce their best form. With a new manager set to take the reins at Tottenham this summer, it will be interesting to see whether Skipp tries to fight for first-team football in north London, or if he will pursue a permanent move to try and help Norwich survive in the Premier League.