Midfielder: Ollie Watkins, Exeter City
Watkins is the first of two non-Championship players to make this list, as he plays for Exeter City in League Two. The 21-year old midfielder topped off this season by winning the prestigious EFL Young Player of the Season award, an accolade previous won by Dele Alli and Gareth Bale.
He can play in midfield or attack, and despite struggling for the first-part of the season he has performed admirably since fending off interest from other clubs in January. The youngster racked up a total of 45 domestic appearances, scoring 13 and assisting 10. These figures have reportedly caught the eye of Brentford and Derby County, who are thought to be interested in signing the player.
Midfielder: John Swift, Reading FC
The second Reading player to feature in the list is midfielder John Swift. The midfielder came through the ranks at Premier League club Chelsea, The 21-year old was released by the west-London club at the end of the 2015-16 season, with Reading the club to strike a deal for the youngster. Since his arrival, he has excelled in a ‘box to box’ role and has been an instrumental figure in Jaap Stam’s side.
Swift was shortlisted for the EFL Young Player of the Season award, and despite not winning, the nomination was deserved recognition for what has been a terrific season for him. Reading missed out on promotion to the Premier League in the playoff final, but Swift has certainly shown signs that he could develop into a great Premier League midfielder in the future.
Midfielder: Ryan Ledson, Oxford United
Ledson is the third player who was nominated for the EFL Young Player of the Season award, and is the other player to be included who does not play in the Championship. The midfielder plays in a typical ‘scouse’ manner, as he often hunts down opposition players like a terrier to retrieve the ball. He came through Everton’s academy, and since signing for Oxford he hasn’t looked back.
The 19-year old was once dubbed as a ‘future first-team star’ with the Toffee’s, and at present it seems probable that he could move on to a Championship club this summer. Ledson will have been disappointed not to have won the Checkatrade Trophy with the U’s in April, but if he continues to show the form he has done then he could be destined for great things in the future.