Peach’s Picks: The Championship’s Playmakers of 22/23

The Second Tier Podcast's Justin Peach continues his 2022/23 prediction series by picking out the playmakers who could lead the assist charts in the Championship this season.

Justin Peach

Now we’ve reviewed the best strikers in the league, it’s a good time to take a look at why those forwards score as many as they do. 

The playmakers, the creativity and the backbone of a squad and a group of players who are overshadowed by their goal scoring teammates.

There’s more glory in laying a pass to a teammate rather than shooting (Guti’s assists for Real Madrid anyone?!) and this article will shine a light on the reason why the likes of Ivan Toney and Alexsander Mitrovic can score 30+ a season.

These are the players that make things tick and the ones I think you should be looking out for this campaign…

Ryan Giles

Giles has been a reliable performer at Championship level for the last two seasons which has resulted in his stock growing immensely.

Nine assists in 21 appearances in a Cardiff team that struggled last season gave a glimpse into what he can do.

He was that important, Cardiff moved him from left wing-back to a winger, deploying him further forward.

His cross for Kieffer Moore early in the season to score against Blackpool gave insight into what he has in the locker.

Now at Middlesbrough and with Wilder’s importance on the impact of players in wide areas, it would be near impossible for Giles not to hit double-figure assists.

Jed Wallace

A second tier GOAT. No other words are needed for the flying winger. But for the purpose of insight, here are a few.

In five years at Millwall, Wallace averaged eight assists per season, giving him the accolade of one of the most reliable creative players in the EFL.

This was all with managers who favoured a more defensive style of football, meaning Wallace had to be more clinical with his passing and decision making.

This has rounded him into one of the most complete players in the Championship, giving West Brom fans plenty of reasons to be optimistic.

Now playing under Steve Bruce at West Brom, the former Villa and Newcastle boss isn’t renowned for playing attacking football.

However, he does have a track record of allowing his advanced creative players a licence to impact play high up the pitch and he would be stupid not to do that with Jed Wallace.

QPR 2022

Chris Willock

Willock is one of the most exciting players in the Championship at the moment and was enjoying a breakout 21/22 season until injury cut it short.

During last season, Willock showed an ability to play across the front three and stepped up as the main man when needed to and flourished in the role.

He’s at his best when drifting in from the left hand side, which was showcased brilliantly in his individual goals against Birmingham and Blackpool.

With 11 assists last season and an average 1.4 big chances created per game, he’s a player that will take some stopping.

And, under the tutelage of Michael Beale, he should find another gear which is startling for opposition sides.

Scott Twine

Championship newcomer Twine deserves to be in this list mostly because of his outrageous record for MK Dons last season.

20 goals and 13 assists in what was his first full season in League One is absolutely outrageous and it would be a surprise if his trajectory waned even slightly.

He was subject of plenty of interest this summer which makes complete sense given his record.

Whilst he may struggle to score as many goals as he did last season, he will certainly thrive creatively in a system that puts emphasis on its creative players under Vincent Kompany.

Twine comes alive in the opposition half, averaging 2.4 chances per game, which if replicated in the Championship will put him into a player of the season category once again.

Antoine Semenyo

A slightly rogue choice but Semenyo proved last season just how capable he is creatively.

This is mostly down to his link up play with Chris Martin and Andi Weimann in what was one of the most dangerous and proficient attacks in the Championship last term.

Between them, they scored 42 goals and laid up 28 assists with Semenyo being an essential cog in the system.

It’s impossible to see that stopping and with Nigel Pearson as manager, his forward line will always be consistent.

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