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The twenty best players in League One: Part II - Another supposed Sunderland ‘target’ features

There’s a couple of lads from the North East included in today’s edition of League One’s twenty best players - including one of our own! But, who else sneaks inside the top fifteen?

Chelsea U21 v Peterborough - Checkatrade Trophy Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

15: Liam Lindsay (Barnsley - Defender)

Talented, comfortable on the floor or in the air, the former Partick Thistle academy product has grown into a fantastic defender at Oakwell. He’s an imposing figure at 6’3”, but Liam Lindsay is also very talented at bringing the ball out from that back, and has one of the highest successful pass rates of any defender in the division to reinforce that.

Lindsay isn’t just good with the ball at feet, though. Like any good defender, his ability to win the ball from the opposition is also impressive. Winning 75% of his defensive challenges this year - the fourth best in the league - Lindsay is a real gem.

At just 23, he’s still got more than enough time on his side to get even better.

Burnley v Barnsley - FA Cup Third Round Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

14: Cameron McGeehan (Barnsley - Midfielder)

Someone who was linked with the Lads for all of an hour on transfer deadline day, McGeehan has had a terrific season for the Tykes since signing from Scunthorpe last season.

A vital cog in the Barnsley midfield, his form has meant that they have managed to cope without the likes of Brad Potts, who moved to Preston, and George Moncur, who moved to Luton.

He was a driving force in the resurgent Luton Town side that appears to be jumping the leagues at an alarming rate, and his form during 2016/17 meant the Oakwell club made him one of their first buys on their return to Championship.

Although it took McGeehan a little while to get going in Yorkshire, he’s shown his quality this term forming a great partnership with Alex Mowatt.

PinkUn

13: Jack Payne (Bradford City - Midfielder)

Although technically a Premier League player (he’s on loan from Huddersfield), Payne has been struggling Bradford’s best player and was marvelous for them in front of a sold out Stadium of Light crowd on Boxing Day.

He’s chipped in with nine league goals this term and added four assists, meaning he has been involved in over a third of the Bantams’ goals this season.

With him team currently sitting second bottom at the time of writing, it’s likely Bradford would be cut adrift at the bottom the the table without his input.

He’s also top of the list for key passes attempted in League One (via InStat), which perhaps illustrates the confidence that the 24-year-old Payne is showing this term.

Bradford City v Peterborough United - The Emirates FA Cup Second Round Replay Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

12: Grant Leadbitter (Sunderland - Midfielder)

Another of our own enters the list at twelve, and it’s no surprise to see why.

Leadbitter has enjoyed a career that spans 439 career games across the Premier League and the Championship, and had the pull of his boyhood club not been part of his reason to move to League One, he’d likely have walked into many Championship teams - even at the ripe old age of 33.

Whereas the team’s performances haven’t been at a level any fan would have expected so far in 2019, Leadbitter’s high amount of assists since his return show the kind of quality the Wearsider has meaning he, quite rightly, moves into twelfth place in this table.

Sunderland Echo

11: Marcus Maddison (Peterborough United - Winger)

Born in County Durham, the boyhood Sunderland fan would be much higher up this list if - much like his team - he had better levels of consistency. On his day, Maddison is one of the best players in the league by far, and his 9 assists this season show his value to a Peterborough side currently struggling to find positive results.

Starting at Newcastle United as a youngster, Maddison had to fight his way back up the league ladder with Gateshead. He didn’t remain at Conference level for long though, as his wand of a left foot was spotted by Posh manager Darren Ferguson who shelled out up to £500,000 for him.

A free-kick specialist, Maddison can also operate in a number ten role behind the striker as well as out wide. Flair, vision and a decent eye for goal mean Maddison could well find himself playing further up the footballing ladder come season’s end.

Chelsea U21 v Peterborough - Checkatrade Trophy Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images