By 90Min
March 31, 2019

When it comes to player recruitment, the temptation of many Premier League clubs is to look abroad in search for reinforcements rather than towards the lower divisions of the English football pyramid.

Avid viewers of English football however would argue that clubs should look closer to home as there is an abundance of talent suitable for the step up to the top flight already playing every week in Championship stadiums across the country.

Here are seven defenders who currently ply their trade in the Championship who could be set for moves to the Premier League during this summer's transfer window.


Kieran Gibbs (West Brom)


The 29-year-old presents as an interesting option for Premier League clubs, as he could be considered as tried and trusted in the English top flight, having spent the majority of his career at Arsenal.

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Should West Brom gain promotion at the first attempt, then it is likely that Gibbs will remain at the Hawthorns. If they fail, then Gibbs could be available for a relatively small fee, with the defender - capped on ten occasions by England - possibly looking for a return to the Premier League.

Suitable Transfer Destinations - Several top flight clubs could use a player of Gibbs' experience and ability to play back up to their regular first choice left backs. Leicester City could swap ageing full back Christian Fuchs for Gibbs, and West Ham could also use Gibbs as a more reliable alternative to Arthur Masuaku.


Dael Fry (Middlesbrough) 

Another player whose immediate future will depend on his current club's conclusion to their current Championship campaign.

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With Middlesbrough currently within the play-off positions in the Championship, it is possible that Fry will be playing in the Premier League next season at the Riverside. There will be no shortage of suitors for the 21-year-old though, with his aerial prowess and tackling ability in particular standing out during his displays this season.

Suitable Transfer Destinations - Burnley could look to add some youth to their ageing defensive ranks, with Fry potentially providing a back up option to James Tarkowski and Ben Mee.

Ralph Hassenhutl may also be looking to refresh the defence which he inherited after taking over at Southampton in December, with the Austrian no stranger to working with young players following his spell in charge of RB Leipzig.


Craig Dawson (West Brom)

The 28-year-old looked a relatively accomplished Premier League defender during the Baggies' recent spell in the top flight, even featuring in every match of their 2015/16 campaign.

Alex Pantling/GettyImages

Whilst more youthful options may build more interest than Dawson, the former England U21 is still playing at a high level, and could have his best years still ahead of him.

Potential Transfer Destination - A move to Burnley would be hugely suitable for Dawson, especially with the defender's aerial ability, which could be of good use for Sean Dyche's team from set pieces.


Pontus Jansson (Leeds)


Whilst the Swede may succeed in his attempts to achieve promotion to the top flight with Leeds, there still may be a host of suitors for Jansson in the summer due to his commanding performances in Marcelo Bielsa's team this season.

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The 28-year-old only signed a new long-term contract with the Whites last summer, so could prove difficult and costly to prize away from Elland Road.

Potential Transfer Destination - The towering centre back could prove useful at Premier League clubs that favour attacking from set pieces, such as Burnley or Cardiff City, should Neil Warnock's team manage to win their scrap for survival in the top flight.


Max Aarons (Norwich)


Norwich's exciting 19-year-old full back has received plenty of praise for his performances for Daniel Farke's promotion-chasing Canaries, starting 32 Championship matches during his breakthrough campaign in the club's first team.

James Chance/GettyImages

Any club looking to bring in the England U19 international will look towards his ability to play on either side of the defence as a positive point, as well as his pace and technique when bombing forward from the back to provide support when on the attack.

There would be a wealth of potential suitors for Aarons, as he is packed with potential whilst also displaying plenty of current ability, proving that he may not just be a player for the future.

Potential Transfer Destinations - There have been rumours of a move to Tottenham, which could suit Aarons considering the club's and Mauricio Pochettino's track history of blooding young players into the first team, as well as a potential need for the club to refresh their current full back options. Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea are also rumoured to have taken an interest in the teenager.


Jamal Lewis (Norwich)

Appearing on the opposite side of the defence at Carrow Road is Northern Ireland full back Jamal Lewis, who has further improved on his impressive displays during his breakout season last year.

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Three assists in 33 Championship appearances shows that the 21-year-old has a creative eye and an end product when flying forward. Lewis has however been praised for his energy and for being defensively astute, which has often been sacrificed by wing backs in favour of being devastating when in possession. 

Potential Transfer Destinations - It was reported that BournemouthWatford and West Ham were looking at bringing in Lewis at the end of last season for a fee of over £10m, however the Canaries managed to keep hold of their young starlet. All three clubs could still renew their interest in Lewis in the upcoming transfer window having failed to strengthen sufficiently at full back.


Liam Moore (Reading)


Reading would have been absolutely delighted to have retained the services of star defender Liam Moore at the start of their current campaign, following a summer long transfer saga which saw Moore hand in a transfer request at the Berkshire club.

Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

The Royals' woeful 2018/19 Championship campaign may now have resigned them to losing Moore in the upcoming summer window, with the 26-year-old eyeing a return to the Premier League after leaving Leicester City in 2016.


Potential Transfer Destination -  Brighton's interest in Moore was widely reported during the summer, and another approach for the Reading defender could be on the cards for the Seagulls.

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