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Which soon-to-be relegated players deserve a transfer to a Premier League club this summer?

Football can be a brutal environment at times.

The anguish of relegation is invariably followed by speculation about which players will jump ship.

Sheffield United and West Brom fans have already been condemned to the Championship and defeat to Burnley this evening would confirm Fulham’s exit from the top flight – a likely eventual outcome even if they were to beat the Clarets.

A mass exodus is not guaranteed – Norwich retained Emi Buendia, Max Aarons, Teemu Pukki and Todd Cantwell last summer and stormed the Championship to secure promotion for another crack at the Premier League next season – but the fact is most players want to play at the highest level possible.


Yo-yo expert

Yo-yo expert

Why no Premier League team went all out to sign Buendia – who has 31 goal contributions in 39 league games this season – remains a mystery and may serve as reminder of the value of pecking at the rotting relegated corpses.

Liverpool famously signed Andy Robertson (£3.8m), Gini Wijnaldum (£1.2m) and Xherdan Shaqiri after all three had been relegated from their respective clubs (Hull, Newcastle, Stoke) in the seasons leading up to their latest Champions League success and first Premier League crown.

Here we’ll use Dream Team stats and good old-fashioned common sense to determine which soon-to-be relegated players might be in the shop window this summer.


Top three Dream Team performers in 2020/21

  1. David McGoldrick (£2.4m) – 82 points
  2. Billy Sharp (£1.7m) – 37 points
  3. Oli McBurnie – 36 points

A decent effort after last season’s disaster

A decent effort after last season’s disaster

Given that their best two Dream Team performers this season have a combined age of 68 it’s unlikely that Premier League clubs will be sniffing around Bramall Lane’s forward contingent this summer.

Rhian Brewster (£0.7m) was signed for a club-record fee but has failed to score in 28 appearances – the ex-Liverpool youngster impressed on loan at Swansea but has desperately struggled since joining the Blades and will almost certainly have to restart his career in the second tier.

Sander Berge (£1.2m) is a player who may be on the radar of some bottom-half Prem clubs this summer but only if he’s available at a discount.

In truth, Ethan Ampadu (£0.9m) has been Sheffield United’s best player for much much of the campaign and he’s on loan from Chelsea.


Top three Dream Team performers in 2020/21

  1. Matheus Pereira (£2.7m) – 100 points
  2. Sam Johnstone (£2.3m) – 61 points
  3. Callum Robinson (£1.6m) – 54 points

Class act

Class act

Pereira is very much 2021’s Buendia.

The Brazilian is the only player in bottom three with 100 Dream Team points to his name having scored ten goals and provided five assists in the Premier League this season.

At this stage most onlookers would says he’s ‘too good for the Championship’ and should be on the shortlist of half a dozen top-flight clubs.

Similarly, Johnstone has proved himself worthy of the highest standard English football has to offer.

The 28-year-old has had a thankless task for much of the season, being forced to make more saves than any other keeper while also conceding the most goals.

You get the sense he would be an excellent recruit for a team with a sterner defence than West Brom.

Given Grady Diangana’s (£0.9m) underwhelming campaign, the Baggies might get away with only one or two major departures.


Top three Dream Team performers in 2020/21

  1. Ademola Lookman (£2.3m) – 79 points
  2. Alphonse Areola (£1.6m) – 69 points
  3. Antonee Robinson (£2.0m) – 69 points

Technically still a PSG player

Technically still a PSG player

Lookman and Areola are on loan from RB Leipzig and PSG respectively and, as far as we know, no obligation to buy clause exists in either case.

Any Premier League clubs seeking a keeper may consider the Frenchman’s eligibility given his efforts between the sticks at Craven Cottage.

Centre-back Joachim Andersen has also looked very capable at times but he too is on loan from Lyon.

Robinson is still in the infancy of his career and may take inspiration from Norwich’s Aarons in choosing to accommodate another season in the Championship to further his development.

Away from Dream Team stats, midfielders Harrison Reed (£0.7m) and Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa boast attributes that could be enhanced in better functioning teams.

The former may even be capable of a Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (£1.4m) style leap in the right environment while the latter unquestionably has the technique to thrive in the Premier League but perhaps needs a coach who better understands how his talent can be implemented.

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