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Ranked! The 10 best players aged 21 or under in the Championship

Ryan Sessegnon

Mike Holden runs down the bright young things who continue to grab attention in the Championship right now

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10. Ben Brereton (Nottingham Forest, 19)

The Stoke-born striker turned 19 last week, days after showing his nerve from the penalty spot against Ipswich to end a Forest goal drought of more than 10 hours.

It's debatable whether Aitor Karanka is the ideal manager for his development at this stage, though, and Brereton's rise is unlikely to be sensational. But he has the maturity and mental strength to carve out a solid career whatever obstacles lie in his path, and he won't shy away from the challenge of ploughing a lone furrow.

9. Ronaldo Vieira (Leeds, 19)

It's been a tough campaign for this midfield destroyer, having struggled to impose himself in an engine room stocked with too many similar players. But Vieira's physique itself is a constant reminder of his ability to break up play and drive from deep.

Really, he needs more daring players alongside him to flourish. The attributes that helped him make such a sensational impact in his breakthrough season under Garry Monk haven't just vanished overnight.

8. Jarrod Bowen (Hull, 21)

Hull aren't renowned for their youth development, which makes Bowen arguably their biggest success story in the past 20 years.

Picked up from Hereford when the Bulls went bust in 2014, it was only the chaos of a shambolic pre-season and open-mindedness of former Hull coach Leonid Slutsky that presented him with a sniff of regular first-team football. He seized that opportunity with both hands. Bowen is now an automatic choice under Nigel Adkins, 14 goals from out wide tells its own story.

7. Chris Mepham (Brentford, 20)

The Bees rejected two bids in the region of £8m for this ball-playing centre-back in January, despite the fact he'd played barely 800 minutes.

He nearly walked away from the game at 16 after being told he wasn't good enough by Chelsea, Watford and then, most crushingly, his boyhood club QPR. But Mepham is now a senior Wales international; a cool head in possession for Brentford, who has been rewarded with recognition from Ryan Giggs. Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe has made no secret of his admiration.

6. Ebere Eze (QPR, 19)

Premier League scouts have been flocking to Loftus Road for a glimpse of this dazzling playmaker, and you suspect, like any loose ball he latches on to, Eze is taking it all in his stride.

Ian Holloway has warned about giving him too much responsibility too soon, but the youngster himself is banging on his door for starts. Raw pace and trickery mark him out as an immediate threat but it's the awareness of others' movement and nonchalant distribution that is truly astonishing.