As the regular EFL season draws to a close and the transfer window officially opens on May 17, expect deals aplenty to be done.
The length of the summer market has changed this year with business closing at 5pm on August 9. What’s behind this change to English football is that players can be with their new clubs right from the very start of the season.
Young players who perform well in the EFL often get snapped up by Premier League clubs, so expect interest in that direction from teams in the English top-flight. Here’s three from the other divisions attracting some serious attention.
Norwich City top scorer James Maddison has been a bright spark in a season of decline at Carrow Road.
The Canaries cannot finish higher than twelfth in the Championship under German boss Daniel Farke but are favourites to make the top half with bookmakers buoyed by some spectacular goals from attacking midfielder Maddison.
Despite the slide into mid-table after just falling short of the play-offs last season, the Norfolk outfit have seen Maddison net some cracking free-kicks and other long-range efforts. He’s also made the Championship team of the season.
These factors highlight his ability and why a number of Premier League teams, including Arsenal, Leicester City, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, have been linked with a move.
Current betting has Reds boss Jurgen Klopp as favourite to get Maddison for next season at 3/1 – ahead of Spurs at 5/1. The Gunners, meanwhile, are 8/1 in the market with the Foxes available at 16/1 to get their man.
Fulham’s left-sided wonderkid Ryan Sessegnon has really announced himself on the Championship scene at Craven Cottage, benefitting from Slavisa Jokanovic playing him further up the pitch.
That conversion from full back to winger – reminiscent of a certain Gareth Bale when he played for Southampton at this level and a similar age – has added an extra dimension to the West London outfit.
Sessegnon’s fellow professionals have recognised his huge talent as he swept the EFL Awards, winning Championship Apprentice, Player and Young Player of the Season gongs.
Almost every big Premier League club are tracking him, with Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham all holding long-standing interest.
He is best-priced at 5/2 to joins Spurs, 4/1 he goes to Anfield and 7/1 to sign for Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford. You can check out the latest bookmakers offers to back any transfer specials with a free bet.
And down in EFL League Two, Stevenage defender Ben Wilmot has already been the subject of bids from Premier League clubs that his hometown team turned down in January despite limited first-team experience.
Like Sessegnon, he is still a teenager, albeit one playing three levels below the top-flight instead of just the one and an England youth international as is Maddison.
While Watford claim to have ended their reported interest in Wilmot, North London rivals Arsenal and Spurs are also among those top-flight teams linked.
It might be too big a jump for the youngster to make directly and Championship team Brentford are also in the running, which could be a sensible stepping stone if Wilmot feels ready to move on.