Five loan stars to watch in the Championship

Middlesbrough, Rotherham United, Watford, Leeds United, and Fulham loanees feature.

Kenneth Omeruo - Middlesbrough

Coming off the back of an impressive World Cup campaign with Nigeria meant that the majority of Chelsea fans expected to see Kenneth Omeruo appearing in the heart of the Blues defence. However, he has once again been sent out on loan to Middlesbrough, where Jose Mourinho can monitor his progress under former Real Madrid assistant manager Aitor Karanka. The 20-year old centre back spent a 14-game spell at the Riverside Stadium at the close end of last season, and his appearances were having fans calling for the Nigerian international to return to Teeside - a want that has been granted. Expect to see much of the same from the youngster, with physically commanding displays by Omeruo a key part of Karanka's defensive philosophy.

John Swift - Rotherham United

Another Chelsea youngster, 19-year old John Swift linked up with the playing squad of recently promoted Rotherham United on August 1st. The midfielder - who has drawn comparisons to Blues legend Frank Lampard - made his competitive debut for Chelsea on the closing day of last season, just rewards for his immense displays in both the FA Youth Cup and the Under 21-Premier League winning sides. Known for his boundless energy, he can play all across the midfield, and has also featured as a winger in an attacking trio. He will add flair and finesse to Rotherham's side, as they look for Championship survival, and he may chip in with a fair few goals in his first season of professional football.

Matej Vydra - Watford

Udinese youngster Vydra is a known quantity in the Championship, having netted a 20-goal haul for the Hornets in the 2012/13 season. However, a less successful spell with West Bromwich Albion last season saw the Czech international record just three strikes in 18 Premier League games. A step back down to the Championship seemed likely, and Watford were able to draw the 22-year old back to Vicarage Road for the coming season. He has impressed in spells during pre-season, although he appears to not be fully match fit, and any loss of pace would hit the striker hard. Watford fans will hope that he can revive his fruitful relationship with Troy Deeney, as with both strikers scoring regularly promotion would seem inevitable.

Souleymane Doukara - Leeds United

Strong and quick attacker Doukara moved to Elland Road from Catania, agreeing a year-long loan with the option for a permanent transfer at the end of it. The 22-year old - who can play as a striker or winger - failed to score a goal in his maiden season in Serie A, although he netted 24 times in 112 games in the Italian lower leagues. If intending to lead the Whites attacking line this season, Doukara has competition from Matt Smith, and, despite featuring heavily in pre-season, he has failed to find the net. If he enters the opening weeks of the Championship season with such a record, he may be forced to the bench. However, if he hits a run of form, his pace and strength may be too much for second division defences to handle.

Konstantinos Stafylidis - Fulham

20-year old Stafylidis arrived at Craven Cottage on a one-year loan deal from Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen, having made just one appearance for the German side since joining in 2012. The left-back spent the 2013-14 season with Leverkusen's reserve side, and, having claimed that a year of his career had been lost with no first-team football, the once-capped Greek international promised to work harder to impress his coaches - and the move to Fulham will allow him to do just that. With the Cottagers looking to achieve instant promotion back to the Premier League, a strong defence is necessary, and Stafylidis has been lauded for his defensive capabilities following impressive displays in the 2012 European Under-19 Football Championship. If the youngster can carry over his form from his breakthrough season, there is no doubting that he will excel in the second tier of English football.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch