7 Championship bargains who'd make great Premier League transfers this summer


From an England U21 star to a prolific winger, Mike Holden picks out seven Football League players with the potential to be excellent buys for Premier League clubs

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1. Dan Bentley (Brentford)

When he’s not saving shots, he’s saving lives. Bentley was hailed a hero in June after he pulled a drowning holidaymaker out of a swimming pool in Thailand, capping a fine 12 months since his move to Griffin Park.

The former Southend keeper made a comfortable transition from League One to the Championship last season, adding a greater range of distribution to his game and growing in stature to become a firm fans’ favourite.

It’s hard to believe he wouldn’t take to the Premier League in a similar fashion. He’s still only 23 and has already played over 200 professional games, steadily improving year on year.

2. Joe Bryan (Bristol City)

The son of a heart surgeon, this mature 23-year-old isn't short of level-headed perspective, believing the pressure in football is nothing compared to being counted upon to save people's lives every day. Indeed, it was Bryan’s dad who performed surgery on former Bristol City boss Gary Johnson last March.

There’s not much of him at 5ft 7in, but he has earned the nickname 'Springbok' for his giant leap, which he worked on when doing intensive gym work on the recovery trail from a broken leg in his academy days. Left-sided but comfortable on either foot, he can operate as either a full-back or wing-back.

3. Sam Hutchinson (Sheffield Wednesday)

The former Chelsea academy product went through a lot as a youngster and even retired in 2010 due to a recurring knee problem, which then led to depression and a spell at the Priory.

Now 27, those days are long behind him and his full-blooded combative style in the middle of the park is a throwback to a bygone era. Now approaching his fifth season at Sheffield Wednesday, he has increased his number of appearances year on year, but any potential suitors would have to pull out all the stops - Hutchinson has expressed a desire to see out the remainder of his career with the Owls.

4. Tom Cairney (Fulham)

Cairney was coasting along through a fairly ordinary career until manager Slavisa Jokanovic rocked up at Craven Cottage and unlocked his potential, as Fulham shifted from a functional approach to a fluid passing game last season. The former Blackburn man was the key component, coming in from the right flank to operate as a No.10, where his marvellous technique and bravery of passing really caught the eye.

Now a Scotland international, Cairney signed a one-year contract extension in June but that has merely been viewed as an attempt to ramp up the price if a serious bidder comes to the table.