Five Championship managers destined for the Premier League: From Thomas Frank to Steve Cooper

Graham Ruthven by Graham Ruthven / 14 January 2020, 11:13

Graham Potter and Chris Wilder have both taken to the Premier League this season like a duck to water after making the jump up from the English Championship. While Wilder won promotion with Sheffield United, Potter was handed the Brighton job having proved himself at Swansea City the season before.

The managerial path between the Championship and the Premier League has become one less trodden in recent years, but the precedent set by Potter and Wilder could tempt others to look to the second tier when scouring for a new coach.

Here are five current Championship managers who would be well-equipped for the Premier League...

Steve Cooper (Swansea City)

There was a lot of doom and gloom around the Liberty Stadium over the summer as Graham Potter left Swansea City for Brighton.

The Swans were criticised for a perceived lack of ambition and their appointment of Steve Cooper, who until then had never held a senior management position.

Since then, though, the former England Under-16s and Under-17s coach has shown himself to possess a shrewd football mind, taking Swansea into playoff contention near the top of the Championship. A bright managerial career beckons for the 40-year-old.

Thomas Frank (Brentford)

Brentford have long been heralded as Championship overachievers with the Griffin Park outfit currently sitting third in the table, still somewhat adrift of the top two, but the best of the rest.

Thomas Frank arrived at Brentford with a good pedigree having coached Brondby in his native Denmark, but has since bolstered his reputation even further, with the Bees’ strong defence the platform for their promotion push this season.

Even if Frank fails to take Brentford up, it might not be long before Premier League clubs are looking at the 46-year-old.

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Could Thomas Frank soon climb up the managerial ladder into the Premier League?

Marcelo Bielsa (Leeds United)

For all that he has achieved in the game, Marcelo Bielsa has never coached in the Premier League.

There’s little doubt that the 64-year-old would be a big hit in the English top-flight, building a Leeds United side over the past two seasons that now looks ready to compete at such a level.

Credited as being an influence on the likes of Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp, there’s a sense of destiny to the prospect of Bielsa directly pitting himself against such figures.

Sabri Lamouchi (Nottingham Forest)

In terms of their size, stature and history, Nottingham Forest should be a Premier League side.

However, they have been a basket case of a club in recent years, jumping from one controversy to the next. This season, though, Sabri Lamouchi has forged a side full of exciting, young talent.

Forest are currently fifth in the Championship table and are a decent bet to finish in the playoff places. The former Parma and Monaco midfielder deserves a lot of credit for what he has already achieved.

Gary Rowett (Millwall)

For a long time, Gary Rowett looked destined for a Premier League job.

Indeed, the 45-year-old was linked with a number of top flight positions most notably during his successful spell at Birmingham City, but a couple of bad career decisions set him back, with the former defender now at Millwall.

Rowett is now doing a good job at The Den, with Millwall currently eighth in the Championship table. A top-six finish this season would go some way to restoring his reputation. Rowett still has many admirers in the game. 

England - Championship: Outright Winner Odds

West Brom
Nottingham Forest
Bristol City
Preston
Blackburn
Millwall
Swansea
Cardiff
Derby
Middlesbrough
Stoke City
Sheffield Wed
Barnsley
Birmingham
Charlton
Huddersfield
Hull City
Luton
Reading
Wigan
Odds Correct as of 2020-03-16 08:54:27

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Graham Westley
Graham Westley
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