Written by Jordan Motlib
The January window slams shut in just a few days time and as ever in the Premier League, money is getting thrown around at an alarming rate. So many deals are happening from overseas with the price of English players often carrying an added value. However the EFL is full of talent and has been for many years, the examples below indicate that, so here are the best 11 players to have plied their trade in League One in recent years!
Goalkeeper: Fraser Forster.
Southampton shot stopper Fraser Forster, played in goal for Norwich in the 2009/10 season, when the canaries won the league ahead of Leeds and Millwall. Forster also played in League One with spells at Stockport County and Bristol Rovers.
Right Back: Kyle Walker.
Although a product of the Sheffield United academy, Walker didn’t play for the blades in League One. It was with Northampton where Walker played in England’s third tier, making 9 appearances in a loan spell in 2008/09. Just a season later Walker signed for Tottenham and has played 168 for Spurs with 23 caps for England.
Centre Back: Ashley Williams.
Wales captain Ashley Williams was an integral part of the Swansea side that progressed through the football league pyramid from League 2 to the Premier League. Since then, Williams has moved to Everton under Ronald Koeman who are sitting in 7th place in the Premier League, and is captain of the Welsh national football team.
Centre Back: Jose Fonte.
Portuguese Centre Back, Jose Fonte, was part of the famous Southampton side that in back to back seasons managed to go from League One to the Premier League. Fonte was a leader from the back for the saints and has recently moved to West Ham in this transfer window. Fonte also won the European Championships with Portugal last summer.
The Spanish Left Back featured 43 times for the Welsh side in their promotion season, and has become a legend of the club having played 321 games for the swans in total.
Centre Midfield: Morgan Schneiderlin.
Schneiderlin signed for Southampton as a 19 year old from Strasbourg. The Frenchman helped the saints to promotion in his first season at the club and went on to play 230 games for Southampton before moving to Manchester United under Louis Van Gaal. Schneiderlin now plies his trade at Everton under his old manager Ronald Koeman.
Centre Midfield: Joe Allen.
The Welsh international played for Swansea between the years 2007 and 2012, accumulating 127 appearances for the swans. He was part of the Swansea side that won the League One title in the 2007/08 season. After moving to Liverpool under his former manager Brendan Rodgers, Allen left Merseyside in the summer of 2016 to join Mark Hughes’ Stoke.
Right Midfield: Adam Lallana.
Adam Lallana captained the saints to promotion from League One in the 2010/11 season, and scored 8 goals in 36 games. Lallana spent two years in England’s third flight, scoring 15 goals in 44 games in his first season. Lallana has since moved to Liverpool, after he guided Southampton to the Premier League. He has 29 international caps for England, and is now regarded as an important player for the three lions.
Centre Attacking Midfield: Dele Alli.
Dele Alli’s rise from League One to the Premier League’s elite was a swift one. Alli was playing for MK Dons, and had 62 appearances for the Dons at the age of 18. Alli signed for Tottenham on the 2nd February 2015 and was immediately loaned back to MK Dons for the remainder of the season, to ensure they were automatically promoted. At the start of the 2015/16 season it was widely thought that Alli would be a squad player for Spurs, however after initially impressing early on in the season, Alli went on to make 33 league appearances that season and hasn’t looked back since. Alli has 15 appearances for England as well as 2 goals.
Left Midfield: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
At just 17 years old Oxlade-Chamberlain became a starting player in the Southampton line up that got promoted in the 2010/11 season. He scored 9 goals in 36 appearances in that season, which led to Arsenal signing the teenager for £12 million. Oxlade-Chamberlain has since played 24 times for England. He is also the youngest ever English player to score in the champions league.
Striker: Callum Wilson.
Former Coventry striker Callum Wilson makes the list, having scored 21 goals in 37 league appearances in the 2013/14 season, when the Sky blues relocated to Sixfields in Northampton. Wilson, wasn’t originally in manager Steven Presley’s plans but was forced to play him due to a shortage in strikers. Wilson was sold to Bournemouth for £3 million, after the cherries were promoted into the championship. Since then Wilson has scored 31 goals for Bournemouth in 85 games and has been touted for an England call up.
David Stockdale (Leicester)
Leon Britton (Swansea)
Andy King (Leicester)
Tom Cleverly (Leicester)
Joe Cole (Coventry)
Russell Martin (Peterborough)
Rickie Lambert (Southampton, Bristol Rovers, Stockport)
What changes would you make? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image by joshjdss