10 Npower Championship Stars the EPL May Chase in January
The second tier of English football has long been the breeding ground for the next wave of stars to make a name for themselves in the English Premier League.
It has so far been a great new season with plenty of youngsters and several veterans looking to raise their stock in the Npower Championship with aspirations for making moves in January or by next summer to the top flight.
Some players will be hoping for their first trip to a top 20 club, while others are hoping for a lifeline to be extended to them in order to make their way back up.
Which ever the case here are 10 players that will be on the Christmas want lists of several EPL clubs come December when they start preparing for the January transfer window.
Brighton & Hove Albion: Craig Noone
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Seagull's Craig Noone had a fine showing against Liverpool during Brighton & Hove Albion's disappointing loss to the Merseyside giants in the third round of the Carling Cup.
The former Liverpool youth is leading his club in assists along with Ashley Barnes and has scored a goal so far this season.
Although Noone just recently arrived from plummeting club Plymouth Argyle, his performances so far this season could tempt a lower level Premier League club in the winter transfer window.
Middlesbrough: Marvin Emnes
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Middlesbrough's 23-year-old Dutch attacker Marvin Emnes is coming into his own this season as he has already scored eight goals in 11 appearances between the Npower Championship and the Carling Cup.
His 14 goals in 73 appearances do not do him justice as the player is growing in talent rapidly this season and has helped the Smoggies keep up the pace at the top of the Championship table so far this season right alongside of Southampton.
Swansea City tried to sign him alongside Leroy Lita in the summer window but failed. However, that could be the first of multiple teams to come after him in January if he continues his current goal scoring pace.
Peterborough United: Lee Tomlin
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Darren Ferguson, son of Sir Alex Ferguson, is making quite a name for himself as the manager of Peterborough United as the Posh is slowly making their way to the EPL. One of the best weapons that the young Ferguson has had at his disposal is forward Lee Tomlin.
The 22-year-old leads the club with three goals and three assists after eight games with his club sitting at seventh in the table.
Brighton & Hove Albion: Ashley Barnes
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Another Brighton & Hove Albion starlet, Ashley Barnes, is on the verge of a breakout season with the south coast club. Five goals and three assists in eight games has seen him make quite an impression in the first part of the season.
Barnes was another of the Plymouth Argyle players to make the move to Albion, along with previously listed Craig Noone, and Barnes is a highly rated prospect with a chance to make a switch in January.
In 68 games for the Seagulls he has scored 31 goals and the 21-year-old Austrian is constantly improving.
West Ham United: Carlton Cole
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Stoke City tried to pry him away this summer to no avail. Cole currently is the leading scorer for the Hammers on four, but if they fail to look set to go back up in January he could be rumored on the move once again.
Birmingham City: Liam Ridgewell
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The Blues veteran defender is one of the few left from last seasons Premiership club. Sebastian Larrson, Craig Gardner, Scott Dann and Cameron Jerome have all returned to the top flight while the 27-year-old Liam Ridgewell remains in the Championship.
However, he could return to the EPL in the winter as several teams are going to be looking for a veteran defender for a better price than they may find in the league already. This will most likely see Ridgewell at least be targeted by several top flight clubs after both West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City failed to land him in August.
Leeds United: Robert Snodgrass
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Leeds United's Robert Snodgrass is also a prime prospect to make a move come January as the forward has scored a goal and created five from assists so far this season.
The fellow Scotsman in the Whites all out plaid front line is on just as big of a high as his counterpart Ross McCormack and is running rampant on the Championship defenses with his countryman.
Southampton: Adam Lallana
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Southampton midfielder Adam Lallana has been in fine form this season having already collected four goals and four assists for the Saints as they currently sit atop the Npower Championship after eight rounds.
If Southampton and their 23-year-old star continue to play well he could be on the radar of several Premier League clubs by midseason and after seeing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain leave for a big money move to Arsenal he could be the next to follow.
Crystal Palace: Wilfired Zaha
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Wilfried Zaha has failed to score or provide an assist this season so far with eight games under his belt for Crystal Palace. However, it has not stopped multiple big money clubs coming after his signature as the 18- year-old is believed to be a premier talent.
Stoke City, Fulham, Arsenal and Liverpool have all expressed interest in the youngster and he is one of the most likely to make a move in January due to his club sitting middle of the table and looking not set for promotion.
Leeds United: Ross McCormack
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Ross McCormack is on fire for Leeds United so far this season with eight goals in as many games for the Whites. Aside from his scoring exploits he has also added two assists for his teammates to repay their faith in him at the front.
The 25-year-old Scottish striker could be in line for an exit this January if he keeps his numbers up.