The English second tier does not command as much respect as the Premier League, but Semi Ajayi believes it’s one of the toughest leagues in the world
West Bromwich Albion defender, Ajayi, has given a big thumbs up to the English Championship, insisting that not everyone can excel in that division.
Twenty-four teams play in the EFL Championship every season, with the top two going on to qualify directly to the Premier League.
The teams that finish the season in 3rd to 6th place enter a playoff tournament, with the winner also gaining promotion to the Premier League.
Despite only joining West Brom at the start of the campaign, Ajayi became a key member of Slaven Bilic’s excellent team.
Before the coronavirus pandemic forced the football season to a halt, the Baggies were on course to secure promotion to the top flight.
Ajayi may end up turning out in the Premier League next season, all things being equal, but the former Arsenal man wants no one to snide at the Championship.
“It’s a tough league, anyone can beat anyone if you are not on it, there’s no easy game in the Championship,” Ajayi said in an Instagram Live chat with the Super Eagles Media Team monitored by Soccernet.ng
“We play games quickly as well, most weeks we play on Saturday and on a Tuesday, so the turnaround between games is very quick, you need to be robust, you need to be fit because if you drop your guard for one second, you get punished.
“Premier League teams that’s where they get their players from, they watch the Championship, and they cherry-pick the players that they think can improve their team, so that goes to show how much quality there is in this league.”
Ajayi is one of the few players representing a second-tier club who also featured for Gernot Rohr’s Super Eagles.