1 – Bakary Sako (Wolves)
Wolves may have had a torried season last year, but if there were any positives to be taken from it, Sako would be on of them. The Frenchman produced a number of Man of the Match perfomances last season as well as netting double figures from midfield. Named as Player of the Season, Sako has been linked with Fulham amongst others, but should Wolves keep onto him, it would severely increase their chances of getting back into The Championsip.
2 – Febian Brandy (Sheffield United)
Having been one of Walsall’s stand out players last season, Febian Brandy was always going to be on the radar of a host of Football League clubs. The attacking-midfielder is known for his impressive dribbling and willingness to get at defenders, but his passing and tackling attributes are not to be sniffed at. The Blades were crying out for a player like this last season, could he be the man to help them get out of the league?
3 – Nahki Wells (Bradford)
A host of big perfomances put Nahki Wells on the footballing-radar last season. The Bermudan produced excellent displays against Arsenal and Aston Villa in the League Cup as well as earning the Man of the Match award in the League 2 Play-Off Final. Wells didn’t just produce at the end of the season however, he scored 26 goals in all competitions for the Bantams.
4 – Britt Assombalonga (Peterborough United)
Southend’s top league scorer with 15 goals, Assombalonga comes off of the back of a successful season in the Football League. Peterborough are known for their attacking style and goals are never at a premium at London Road so the DR Congo man should fit in well. But with club chairman Darragh MacAnthony stating that the club had ‘smashed’ their previous transfer record of £1.1m, the onus will be on Assombalonga to get off to a quick start and help fire Posh back to the Championship.
5 – Lee Frecklington
Another club who broke their transfer record to get their man, this time Rotherham United. Former Lincoln and Peterborough man Frecklington loves quick, passing football and can open up defences from his midfield position. After struggling to nail down a regular place in the Championship under Darren Ferguson, Frecklington was undoubtably one of League 2’s star performers last season. He should fit in just perfectly in League 1.
6 – Sanchez Watt
Sanchez Watt has struggled for consistency wherever he has gone and that can be put largely down to the fact that he has spent almost the whole of his career on-loan at various clubs. Having signed for Arsenal in 2009, Wenger spoke highly of the youngster saying a first-team place wasn’t far off. But Watt has clearly struggled from being shipped out time and time again. But after leaving North-London and signing permanently for Colchester, Watt should benefit from his new-found stablity. Expect this to be his biggest season yet.
7 – Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (Bristol City)
Another former Arsenal protégée, Emmanuel-Thomas fell out of favour at Ipswich Town under Mick McCarthy last season leading Sean O’Driscoll to snap up the 22 year old. With a permanent deal at a League 1 club, Emmanuel-Thomas will feel the need to have a consisent season and with Bristol City one of the favourites for promotion, there’s no reason why he can’t light up the league.
8 – Ben Nugent (Brentford)
Uwe Rossler hasn’t had too much to smile about lately, but signing Ben Nugent on-loan from Cardiff City should at least help ease the pain after a horrendous end to last years campaign. Nugent made 14 starts for Championship winners Cardiff last year and whilst he struggled to maintain his first-team position, his perfomances were solid for The Bluebirds. Malky Mackay possibly felt that Premier League football has come a little too early for Nugent, but a strong season with Brentford won’t harm his chances of a return back to Wales.
9 – Craig Westcarr (Walsall)
With Walsall losing their two key men from last season, Will Grigg and Febian Brandy, the onus is on Westcarr to step up to the mark. The Saddlers finished in a very respectable 9th place last year and more good things will be expected at The Bescott under Dean Smith. Smith has expressed his desire for Westcarr to stay and lead the line so it will be no suprise to see him become one of the league’s most threatening players this year.
10 – Kevin Davies (Preston)
Another man who’s used to leading the line is Kevin Davies. The former Bolton man made his England debut just three years ago yet fell out of favour with Dougie Freeman in the Championship last year. At 36, this could be one of Davies’ final seasons but his strength, experience and eye for goal could prove to be very important. Simon Grayson’s teams are always challengers in League 1 so expect Preston to be no different with Davies playing an integral part.