When the 2015/16 PFA Championship Team of the Year was selected, it had 12 players, though that wasn’t the only interesting factor when you look back at the choices made.

The 12th man happened because Michael Dawson and Daniel Ayala received exactly the same number of votes.

There have been a number of teams of the season selected by various people/media already but the PFA one is the only one that counts, where their fellow professionals know which players have and haven’t performed.

Recent weeks have seen the media cranking up the transfer tales/rumours/inventions for Newcastle United, who the club are allegedly targeting in the summer if/when they go up.

One route taken, particularly by the local media, is to name a succession of what are claimed to be the best performers in the Championship.

How much you rely on these reports is up to you but are these players the level Newcastle would need if going up.

Looking at last season’s PFA Championship team of the year, it gives us some interesting info.

Of the 12 chosen, eight of the players were part of a team promoted and are still with them now (though Joey Barton is back at Burnley via Rangers).

Of the other four, all are still in the Championship, with no Premier League club seeing them as the level of player they needed. Bannan, Bruno and Judge still at their clubs from last season, whilst McCormack has been a big flop at Villa.

So will this season’s crop of Championship better performers be any different?

Tom Cairney has looked decent this season, for example, but this is now his eighth season in the Championship and I must admit I’d never heard of him until Newcastle were linked by the media with him this season.

I have a feeling that when the PFA Championship team of the year is named at the end of this season, it will be once again filled mainly with players from the three promoted clubs. Any gaps could well be filled by players who are on loan from Premier League clubs, such as Abraham at Bristol City.

The bottom line is, the best players in the Championship, such as Gayle, Knockaert, Shelvey, Dunk and Clark, will all be staying at their clubs as they go into the Premier League, they won’t be up for sale, same with the best of the loan players currently in the second tier.

The message almost certainly is that Newcastle will need to look elsewhere, very likely abroad, for the bulk of any signings – especially with crazy talk of £20m price tags on the likes of Cairney.

2015/16 PFA Championship Team of the Year:

Goalkeeper – Tom Heaton (Burnley)

Playing for Burnley in Premier League and called up for England.

Right-Back – Bruno Saltor (Brighton)

The 36 year old stayed at Brighton and is a key part of their promotion push.

Centre-Back – Michael Keane (Burnley) 

Playing for Burnley in Premier League and called up for England.

Centre-Back – Michael Dawson (Hull City)

The 33 year old is Hull’s Captain in the Premier League.

Centre-Back – Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough)  

Playing for Middlesbrough in Premier League.

Left-Back – George Friend (Middlesbrough) 

Playing for Middlesbrough in Premier League.

Midfield – Alan Judge (Brentford)

Has had a year long absence through injury and still at Brentford. Out of contract at end of this season, the 28 year old midfielder was a target for Newcastle last summer until they realised how long his recovery time would be.

Midfield – Joey Barton (Burnley)

The 34 year back playing for Burnley in Premier League after disastrous Rangers move.

Midfield – Barry Bannan (Sheff Wed)

The 27 year old midfielder has still been turning out for Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship.

Midfield – Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough)  

Playing for Middlesbrough in Premier League.

Striker – Andre Gray (Burnley)  

Playing for Burnley in Premier League.

Striker – Ross McCormack (Fulham) 

Big money move didn’t work out at Aston Villa, the 30 year old now on loan at Forest.

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