The Football League has long been the breeding ground for a wealth of talent, every season there are a group of players who explode on to the scene and are gathered up by Premier League teams before embarking on years in the lower ranks prior to being chewed up and spat back out into the bottom reaches of English football.
But every now and then a player comes along and makes their mark at the peak of the game. Here, Ladbrokes News looks at the men who could be more Rickie Lambert than Marvin Sordell.
Chris Wood – Leeds
The New Zealander has already had a couple of chances in the Premier League with both Leicester and West Brom, ultimately failing to make an impact.
Nevertheless, the 23-year-old has an undoubted talent and shone in the Championship in 2012-13 when he scored 20 goals across spells at Millwall and the Foxes.
If he can find his golden touch, Wood has the physique and the game to step up to the top flight and he could be the man to fire Leeds into promotion contention at last.
Teddy Bishop – Ipswich
Mick McCarthy is already fully aware the Tractor Boys academy graduate is set for the Premier League, he will just be hoping it will be with the Portman Road club.
Bishop has only just turned 19 but already has 31 games in the second tier in the bank, invaluable experience at such a tender age.
His distribution and ball retention has already caught the eye of Manchester United and Arsenal if reports are to be believed and he will be key to any promotion push this season.
Jamie Allen – Rochdale
The Rochdale maestro has somehow gone under the radar at Spotland but that is set to change this season. Ian Henderson’s 22 goals took all the headlines as Dale recorded their highest ever league finish but it was the craft of the diminutive playmaker that set the basis of a play-off push.
Allen is revered in the north-west and the wealth of talent at his disposal will ensure he will move up the ladder sooner rather than later. At just 20 he already has 60 league appearances under his belt and found the step up to League One easy.
His style of play and flash of ginger has seen him compared to Paul Scholes and it won’t be long until he is operating at the top of the game.
Alfie Mawson – Barnsley
The defender made his mark on League Two last year with a superb campaign at the heart of the Wycombe defence. The Chairboys were cruelly denied promotion with the last kick of the game at Wembley but the young centre back had done enough to earn his move up the ladder.
The 21-year-old was a virtual unknown before moving on loan to Adams Park from Brentford but his commanding and classy showings have not gone unnoticed. Barnsley swooped for the Londoner this summer as The Bees surprisingly let him go.
The Tykes have built an impressive looking squad ahead of the new campaign and if Mawson shines then the scout quota at Oakwell is sure to swell.
Brad Walker – Hartlepool
The Billingham-born midfielder enjoyed a high breakthrough the season before last and made himself a mainstay at the heart of the Pools midfield. The vultures were circling but the then teenager remained in the north-east.
Last term was an awkward one as he suffered from second season syndrome but he was impressive as Ronnie Moore led the club to survival.
Walker has been named in the Football League Emerging Talent XI and could tear up the division once again in 2015-16.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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