5 Championship players who could be in the top tier next year, promotion or not

Burnley, Leeds, Derby County, Nottingham Forest and Blackburn Rovers players feature.

Every player wants to test themselves at the highest levels of the game. Here's a few that could make the jump next time around.

It can be frustrating for fans to watch a player develop at their club, only to be signed by a bigger club when coming into their prime. There'll no doubt be a few Premier League outfits after these names come summertime: 

Danny Ings

An obvious choice – the 21-year-old has had a flying season scoring 25 times in 38 appearances. Statistics and performances like that don't go unnoticed by managers in the top tier, and Ings was already being linked with a move away from Burnley in January. Ings enters the final year of his contract in the summer, and Burnley will have to fight hard if they want him to play for them in the top tier next season. Mark Hughes was reported to be watching Ings in Burnley's recent win over Blackburn, but West Brom boss Pepe Mel and Brendan Rodgers of Liverpool are all said to be interested. 

Ross McCormack 

After all of the drama at Elland Road on transfer deadline day, nobody knew if McCormack was coming or going. On finding out Brian McDermott remained in charge McCormack pledged his future to Leeds – but after being battered at home in their last two games – it's unclear whether McDermott will still be in the job next season. This could open the door for the Championship's top scorer to make the transition up a league, following in the steps of Robert Snodgrass last season. McCormack was said to be thrilled when handed the Leeds captaincy at the start of the year, but his loyalty is sure to be tested over the summer.

Will Hughes

The Derby youngster has become a household name, despite not turning 19 until next month. A player who has been linked with high-profile moves away from the club over the last few transfer windows, you can never be sure what's going to happen. Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers squashed rumours of trying to sign Hughes when he said that Hughes was already in the best place for his development. Nevertheless, Derby CEO Sam Rush has spoken of letting Hughes go as long as he feels the price is right. We'll have to hope the timing is handled well so not to disrupt the development of this young player. 

Jordan Rhodes

It's quite amazing that Rhodes hasn't already been snapped up. An exciting prospect of a player, Rhodes has scored 44 goals in 82 appearances for Blackburn. Rovers refused to comment on speculation that Rhodes is close to signing a new contract, but he's certainly a player they will hope to hang onto if their dreams of returning to the Premier League are to be fulfilled. Crystal Palace are said to be just one of many interested clubs. 

Jamaal Lascelles

It could be to soon for the Nottingham Forest youngster to move into the Premier League, but Lascelles has had a great season having taken his chance when injuries struck his team-mates. With Arsenal reportedly interested in the 20-year-old as far back as 2011, it's fair to say the lad's talented. If it hadn't been for injury last season, he would've undoubtedly picked up more than the 28 starts he has to his name. The Forest academy product looks comfortable with the ball at his feet, and is certainly not afraid to spread the play with long balls. Whichever club ends up signing him, expect him to be a Premier League name over the next decade or so. 

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