Rabu, 21 Disember 2011

Top Ten Lower-League Targets (cheap player)

10) Albert Adomah (Bristol City)

For so long Nicky Maynard would be the Bristol City representative on this list, but after a knee injury ruined his last season, the striker will surely see out at least the rest of this campaign in the Championship.

Winger Albert Adomah has arguably been the most surprising performer in the Championship over the last 18 months. After signing in the summer of 2010 from Barnet for £150,000, Adomah has become a fans' favourite and won the Supporters' Player of the Year last season. Just turned 23, Adomah has also made two appearances this season for Ghana.

Although the winger signed a three-year extension to his Bristol City contract in the summer, the club are struggling for their lives in the Championship. With reported interest from four Premier League clubs, the foot of the Championship table may not be home for Adomah for too long.

Perfect match for: Bolton, Aston Villa, Sunderland, Fulham.

9) Michael Morrison (Charlton)

The first of two players on the list based outside the Championship, Charlton captain Morrison has been the solid foundation to the club's promotion campaign. After suffering the disappointment of being allowed to leave Leicester in last January's window and then being sold by Sheffield Wednesday just six months later, the centre-back has taken to life in the capital with Chris Powell.

Whilst Bradley Wright-Phillips may be taking the plaudits, Charlton have conceded just 16 goals this season, the lowest in the Football League. At 23, Morrison would be worth the gamble as a Premier League squad player.

Perfect match for: Blackburn, Wigan.

8) Jacob Butterfield (Barnsley)

Described as a superstar in the making by former manager Simon Davey, Butterfield won Barnsley's Goal of the Season award last season, has scored five league goals and made seven assists this time around from central midfield and became Barnsley's youngest ever captain at just 21.

There are rumours surfacing that Alex McLeish is plotting a bid for Butterfield in January, and with the midfielder unlikely to reach the Promised Land with the Tykes, his time may have come. Thankfully, Big 'Eck is establishing a reputation for free-flowing football at Villa Park, which should help in Butterfield's development. Hey ho.

Perfect match for: Aston Villa, West Brom.

7) Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City)

It has not been the season that Leicester supporters anticipated. After bringing in ten players on permanent deal and two more on season-long loan deals, there was an expectation that the Foxes would gain automatic promotion with a degree of ease. One of the results, therefore, of their current tenth place (13 points behind the top two) is that players who have bought into the dream begin to doubt.

This season Leicester have conceded almost half a goal less per game than during the last campaign, largely due to the abilities of Kasper Schmeichel. The keeper has experience in the Premier League and the potential and ability to play there once more. With Leicester struggling to perform, might a club come knocking on the door, especially one that needs a second-choice goalkeeper with experience.

A perfect match for: West Brom, Wolves, even Chelsea?

6) Ricky Lambert (Southampton)

Granted, he has only played for four months at a level above the third tier in his entire career. True, he is 30 in February. And yes, he looks like a battering ram that could get found out when playing against stronger defenders in the Premier League. But Lambert's record is sensational. And if Grant Holt can do it, then by goodness Lambert can.

Being involved in 49% of Southampton's 45 goals this season is highly impressive, but scoring five more goals than anyone else in a division in which you have never previously played is a phenomenal achievement. Just think what that could do for a team battling for Premier League survival.

Perfect for: Any savvy chairman of a struggling side with £5million to spend.

5) Peter Whittingham (Cardiff City)

More often than not when a player drops down from the Premier League, their potential for success at the top table has diminished. They have been tried and tested, and ultimately come up short. Whittingham however - allowed to join Cardiff in 2007 for just £350,000 - has instead been able to fashion a reputation as one of the most consistent performers in the Championship, scoring 37 goals in the last two-and-a-half seasons. Whittingham has now played 200 league games for Cardiff, and has an impressive record of a goal every four games. He is a set-piece specialist, taking corners, free-kicks and penalties, and is comfortable either on the left or in central midfield.

In truth the midfielder deserves better than reportedly derogatory offers from Nottingham Forest and despite signing a contract extension in the summer, would surely welcome a chance to gain redemption at the highest level.

Perfect match for: Bolton, Fulham, Sunderland.

4) Adam Lallana (Southampton)

That Adam Lallana was playing League One football up until this season is a testament to the coaching staff at St Mary's, especially after scoring 20 league goals from midfield during the 2009/10 season. The midfielder clearly felt that sticking with his local club was the means to success, and the failure of Andrew Surman's move to Wolves will surely have guided his decision.

This season Lallana has already scored six goals and has five assists in a Southampton side looking for consecutive promotions. Unfortunately for the Saints, it may trigger an offer for one of their star men. New UEFA rules make young English players tempting purchases, and having already received call-ups to Stuart Pearce's Under-21 squad, Southampton could be tempted by a multi-million pound offer.

Perfect match for: Wolves, Fulham, QPR

3) Robert Snodgrass (Leeds United)

After turning down an offer for the Scottish forward in June (£3.5million from Norwich City), Leeds must be prepared from a further onslaught upon the re-opening of the transfer window. The club may have reportedly put an £8million fee on the player's head (ridiculously the same price they managed to command for Fabian Delph) but after his first international goal, eight more league goals this season and his status as top assist-maker in the Championship, the Scotsman is hot property. £5million may be sufficient to obtain a 24-year-old of genuine quality in less-than-genuine pace.

Perfect match for: Sunderland, Norwich.

2) Nathaniel Clyne (Crystal Palace)

Whilst teammates Wilfried Zaha and Darren Ambrose took the plaudits in Palace's Old Trafford victory, one of those has already had a stab at the Premier League and the other has signed a new five-and-a-half-year contract. Right-back Clyne is the latest off the Crystal Palace conveyor belt, and at just 19 years of age became the youngest player to play every game in the Football League last season.

Manchester United are the latest club to be sniffing around the Championship's October Player of the Month, and although manager Dougie Freedman has urged the youngster to stay with Palace throughout his development, the bright lights of the highest stage may persuade the defender otherwise.

Perfect match for: Arsenal, Manchester United.

1) Jordan Rhodes (Huddersfield Town)

The rising star of the Football League? Possibly, but certainly the reason for the creation of this article. Even if Huddersfield achieved promotion then Rhodes could arguably leave at the end of the season anyway, such is his precocious talent. As it is, Huddersfield sit in fourth, and with consecutive play-off defeats in 2011 and 2010, Rhodes may be forgiven for looking for pastures loftier.

Rhodes is not yet 22, and yet has already scored two or more goals in a game on 17 occasions and the Scottish international has 19 goals in as many games so far this campaign. The only question that may remain is at which Premier League ground Rhodes will continue to score goals? Sorry Winty.

A perfect match for: Newcastle, Sunderland.

source: http://www.football365.com/topical-top-10/7388447/Top-Ten

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