Jay Stansfield has been the star of Wayne Rooney's reign at Birmingham City. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)Jay Stansfield has been the star of Wayne Rooney's reign at Birmingham City. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)
Jay Stansfield has been the star of Wayne Rooney's reign at Birmingham City. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

Ranked: Championship's 20 best young players - including Birmingham City, Sunderland, Leeds United, Middlesbrough stars and more

The best young players from the Championship in the 2023/24 season so far have been chosen.

The 2023/24 Championship season is almost at the half-way stage, and the table is beginning to take shape. Birmingham City had been in the play-off mix before the arrival of Wayne Rooney, but now they find themselves below mid-table however there is still time to turn things around. Blues had been sixth after beating West Brom in October, but then change was afoot and Rooney replaced John Eustace in the St Andrew's hot seat.

January isn't too far away, and that will present an opportunity to Rooney, as well as other Championship clubs to make changes to their respective squads. Birmingham's Championship rivals Sunderland sacked Tony Mowbray, despite being in ninth, and you could argue that he overachieved with his young Black Cats squad. Leeds United and Middlesbrough all have a good blend of experience and youth too.

Such is the demands of the Championship, you'd expect that a lot of teams would favour experience other youth, especially when trying to get promoted from the division. We've seen an influx of young stars come to the second tier of English football, and make it their own. Players have either come on loan from the Premier League clubs, or they've been developed by academies, or bought from lower league clubs and given an opportunity.

Alex Scott, who won the Young Player of the Year award last year signed for AFC Bournemouth from Bristol City for a reported £25m in the summer. Have any players done enough to merit the same hype Scott did at Ashton Gate?

Here are the 20 players either 21-years-old or younger, who have performed the best so far in the 2023/24 Championship campaign. Information comes from WhoScored, which collates statistics, and helps the EFL decide their weekly, monthly and seasonal awards.

Such is the demands of the Championship, you'd expect that a lot of teams would favour experience other youth, especially when trying to get promoted from the division. We've seen an influx of young stars come to the second tier of English football, and make it their own. Players have either come on loan from the Premier League clubs, or they've been developed by academies, or bought from lower league clubs and given an opportunity.

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