Middlesbrough’s on-loan Chelsea forward Patrick Bamford was recently names Championship Player of the Year after a season which has seen him smash in 17 goals and set up a further two strikes.
That the 21-year-old has had a huge impact on Boro’s promotion push is undeniable, and with the Riverside outfit behind second placed Bournemouth on goal difference alone his exploits could yet earn the Smoggies a long-awaited return to the top flight.
However, England’s second tier has been awash with star performers this season so Ladbrokes News has highlighted five alternative options who are perhaps more deserving of the crown.
Christophe Berra – Ipswich
Defenders rarely get the credit they deserve and if were to be a man from the back that took the gong plenty would have expected a Boro man, with the title chasers having conceded just 33 goals this term.
However, when looking for a stand out individual Ipswich’s Berra stands out for his contribution to the Tractor Boy’s own promotion charge.
The Scot tops the stats for a number of averages including tackles made (1.6), clearances (11.4) and blocks (1.3), while his interceptions numbers (2.8) are beaten by just one other defender in the league.
Matt Ritchie – Bournemouth
Paolo DI Canio left Swindon shortly after he was forced to sell Ritchie to the Cherries and after a breakout season at Dean Court it’s easy to see why the fiery Italian rated him so highly.
With an eye for the sublime the now Scotland international has gained plenty of headlines this season and with 12 goals and 16 assists to his name no one has provided bigger threat from the middle of the park.
Callum Wilson – Bournemouth
When Eddie Howe allowed Lewis Grabban to be sold to Norwich Cherries fans feared the worst and those worried were not instantly allayed when Coventry’s Wilson was brought in as a replacement.
However, the 23-year-old took to life in the Championship instantly, scoring a brace on his debut in a 4-0 win over Huddersfield.
The England U21 striker has hit 19 league goals and seven assists so far in the campaign and could yet lead the Cherries to the top flight for the first time in the club’s history.
Troy Deeney – Watford
While Wilson has delivered on both the goals and assists front his efforts are outshone by his Hornets rival with Deeney showing once again why Premier league clubs have courted his signature in recent years.
The 26-year-old has smashed 20 league goals and eight assists despite playing seven games fewer than Wilson and looks destined for the top flight regardless fo what happens over the coming weeks with Watford.
Daryl Murphy – Ipswich
Not only is the Irishman the Championship top scorer with 24 goals and counting, but he has delivered in the games that matter with strikes against the likes of Brentford, Bournemouth, Nottingham Forest, and Middlesbrough to give Mick McCarthy’s men real hope of reaching the playoffs.
Should the Tractor Boys secure a top six finish any side they face will be all too aware of the threat of the former Celtic ace.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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