If there is one thing we have expected from the championship, it is surprises.
Each season we do our best to predict which teams will be challenging at the top of the table, and you can definitely guarantee that at the end of the season there will be a couple of teams up there that you would have tipped to go down.
It’s the same with players. We always think we know which players to watch out for, but let’s be honest, there’s always a kid or a newcomer coming out of nowhere to absolutely tear through the league.
With this in mind, 90min has watched some of the newcomers in the season’s championships that we think are worth watching out for …
George Honeyman has developed into a fine player / Pete Norton / Getty Images
George Honeyman looked like a real player when he broke through in Sunderland already in 2017/18, and he has continued to develop since he moved to Hull in 2019.
The midfielder was easily Tiger’s excellent player last season in League One – basically took all the awards at the club’s awards ceremony at the end of the season – and if Hull is to avoid being drawn into a relegation dogfight, he will be the key.
Martin Payero is on his way to Boro / Fran Santiago / Getty Images
Martin Payero has not actually been announced as a player in Middlesbrough yet, but with paperwork signed and a medical completed all we are waiting for is that the youngster will return from the Olympics.
With only 37 senior career opportunities to his name, it’s hard to know what to expect from the midfielder, but with cash-strapped Boro releasing £ 5.8m and Argentina apparently considering he was good enough to make his Olympic squad, there’s a real player in there – right?
Marlon Fossey can get his chance at Fulham next season / Matthew Ashton – AMA / Getty Images
Fulham’s academy has been producing some quality youngsters for a number of years now, but the club seems damn inclined not to give the majority of them a chance in the first team.
Next year is likely to be a little different, with a lot of spending expected in the coming weeks as they look to trim their wage costs, and as such we can see that young people got a chance.
Marlon Fossey is one of the best players their academy has produced in recent times and if the fast back gets his chance, he can stop becoming one of the season’s break-stars.
Callum Morton has impressed on loan from West Brom / Naomi Baker / Getty Images
Like Fulham, West Brom are expected to send some big earners of their paycheck before the transfer window closes.
If Valerien Ismael can hold on to the likes of Kenneth Zohore and Karlan Grant, the Baggies will have a big punch, but we all know that you need much more than just two strikers if you are to succeed in a 46-game season.
Callum Morton has impressed during his many loans from The Hawthorns and Ismael can see next season as the perfect chance to offer him his opportunity in the first team.
Jonson Clarke-Harris did for fun last season / Lewis Storey / Getty Images
Speaking of goal scorers …
Of course, it’s always a challenge to go up to the next level, but once you’ve picked up 31 goals in 45 league games the season before, you’ll probably be okay.
No one even came close to matching Jonson Clarke-Harris’ mood in League One last season and we are putting our bottom dollar on him hitting double figures to an absolute minimum next season.
I’m already sorry I said that.
Joel Piroe has moved to Swansea / Soccrates Images / Getty Images
Given the financial burden the clubs are putting on late, it’s no surprise to see big money offers for a prize, although Swansea’s £ 1m catch of Joel Piroe – potentially rising to £ 2m – is quite bold given the circumstances.
Dubbed ‘next Ruud van Nistelrooy’ – that name could really have been made by his mother, but we promise it’s true – the youngster is a regular in the Netherlands various youth lineups and has passed the Golden Boot at the 2017 Under -19 European Championships he knows clearly where the network is.
After a season with East Bengal in the Indian Super League, Bright Enobakhare has joined @Coventry_City! ?
The Indians remember him for this special purpose! ✨ # ISL # PUSB pic.twitter.com/N4rnN3mbFz
– Goal India (@Goal_India) 13 July 2021
Just look at that goal if you want to know what Bright Enobakhare is all about.
After spending time abroad with AEK Athens and more recently Indian outfit East Bengal, Enobakhare has rejoined Coventry, which he represented when the club was in League One.
The Nigeria Under-23 international is a box of tricks, and while he may be as frustrating as he can shine, he is one of those players you just can not take your eyes off for fear of missing out on the spectacular.
Chris Maxwell will be the key to Blackpool’s hopes for survival / Pete Norton / Getty Images
Blackpool’s campaign last season was built on their solid backline and goalkeeper Chris Maxwell was of course central to their efforts.
The Seasiders conceded just 37 goals in their 46 appearances in the regular season, and it is no exaggeration to say that if Maxwell can carry his form from last season into the 2021/22 campaign, he will already be up there with the best goalkeepers in the league.
Mallik Wilks was lethal for Hull last season / Jacques Feeney / Getty Images
It’s hard to believe that Mallik Wilks is still only 22 years old.
The nomadic kid seems to have been around forever and after finally seeing himself settle in a club he could be on his way to show us exactly what he can do.
Wilks scored an impressive 19 goals in 44 League One games last season and if he is really solid and happy in Hull he could be a big problem for the championship.