Relegation from the Premier League is financially catastrophic these days, meaning some players from Burnley, Watford and Norwich City may be available at bargain prices this summer.
Previous relegations from England’s top flight have been marked by sell-offs: West Ham and Leeds saw their teams decimated after the mid-2000s slump, while the likes of Aaron Ramsdale and Matheus Pereira left their clubs in the summer. past.
Here, we round up an XI of relegated players from the 2021-22 season, lined up in a 4-4-2 formation, who we think Premier League clubs should target for a bargain this summer.
GK: Nick Papa
Burnley were relegated on the final day after six seasons in the Premier League, and they may not be back anytime soon.
The club is millions of pounds in debt and, with nine players out of contract, needs to sell some of its biggest assets to stay afloat.
One of them will surely be the Pope. The England goalkeeper has slipped behind Ramsdale in the international pecking order and will want a move from the Premier League to cement his World Cup spot.
Fulham and West Ham have registered interest in the 30-year-old, but Burnley may need to lower his £40m asking price.
RB: Max Aarons
Aarons performed credibly despite Norwich’s second relegation in three seasons and has attracted the attention of the entire Premier League.
Chelsea, Leeds and Tottenham have been linked with the 22-year-old, but Manchester United are rumored to be favorites for his signing, with club legend Rio Ferdinand backing the move.
“Someone like Max Aarons could put it as a Chris Smalling-type signature where they come in and make an impact,” Ferdinand said on his Vibe with FIVE YouTube show.
“They may not be direct starters right away, but they go and stay there for 10 years and have a very good career and impact the club on different levels.”
CB: Nathan Collins
With all the uncertainty surrounding Burnley, Collins is believed to be one of the main transfer targets for both Leeds and Newcastle this summer.
The former Stoke defender arrived in the Premier League like a fish in water last year, impressing with his serene performances at just 21 years old.
After the 1-0 loss to Spurs, in which Collins managed Harry Kane magnificently, boss Mike Jackson told the Burnley Express: “That’s brilliant for him, he’s taken on the challenge of playing against one of the best strikers , which is great for a 21-year-old, but I’m not surprised because I know what he’s like and what he’s capable of.
“I think it’s getting better all the time. He also has this fearless thing, which I think all good players have. They have to have a belief, it’s not arrogance, they want to improve.
“I think he can still improve a lot. But he has a base to continue and play at this level for a long time.”
CB: James Tarkowski
Burnley turned down £30m offers from Leicester and West Ham for Tarkowski in 2020, believing £50m was closer to his value.
Now, along with eight of his teammates, he will leave for free after his contract expired following relegation.
Aston Villa, Everton and West Ham have all been strongly linked to the centre-back, who was not long ago in the England squad. Otherwise, Tarkowski can hop on a train and explore Europe once more…
Cheap hostels and backpacking Europe in a pair of shorts? ????
James Tarkowski is not your average footballer. pic.twitter.com/rDuZALqZog
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) April 6, 2018
LB: Hassane Kamara
Despite only joining in January, Kamara was named Watford’s Player of the Season for his confident performances at left-back.
Despite winning the accolade, the Reims signing expressed disappointment at not having achieved the goal of staying top.
“I think I must have done some things wrong because we conceded a lot of goals, but I know I produced great performances,” Kamara told the club’s official website. “I’m part of a team and sometimes I failed and I wasn’t good enough.”
That hasn’t stopped West Ham, apparently this year’s biggest predator, from taking an interest.
RM: Dwight McNeil
Identified by FBref as Burnley’s creator-in-chief, McNeil seems destined to leave Turf Moor in the near future.
Burnley will reportedly demand £40m for McNeil and Everton, Crystal Palace and Aston Villa were all interested in signing him in January.
Former boss Sean Dyche was resigned to losing McNeil, even if Burnley had stayed. Speaking to The Mirror, Dyche said: “Business comes first, of course, but there’s also a bit of moral fiber there and we can’t stop a player from getting that opportunity.
“The numbers now in our world are high and we are in a position to say no, we don’t need to sell to anyone. So if anyone wants to come for any of our players, they better have a war chest.”
CM: Todd Cantwell
Cantwell enjoyed excellent seasons in 2019-20 and 2020-21, but a poor start to last campaign sent him out on loan to Championship side Bournemouth, who moved on to Norwich on their promotion to the top flight.
Despite winning promotion, Cantwell failed to impress enough for the Cherries to activate the £11m option to buy him.
But Norwich boss Dean Smith is reportedly hoping to sell or loan him out again rather than expect him to return to previous years’ form.
He could become the Norfolk Dele Alli unless someone in the Premier League gives him a clearance. Crystal Palace, Brentford or Fulham could do worse.
CM: Josh Brownhill
Signed from Bristol City in early 2020, Brownhill’s assured performances have attracted the attention of seven Premier League clubs and the chances of him staying at Burnley are slim.
A 90 min report suggests that West Ham are reportedly favorites ahead of Aston Villa, Leeds United, Everton, Wolves and promoted duo Fulham and Bournemouth.
He would be a solid replacement for Mark Noble if nothing else.
LM: Ismalia Sarr
Sarr’s season was interrupted by injuries and AFCON, which explains his low tally of five goals. But he is still a huge talent and would be an excellent signing for a number of Premier League clubs.
Linked to Liverpool a few years ago, Sarr will not be moving to Anfield this summer. Still, Crystal Palace, Everton and Newcastle are keen to sign him and the 24-year-old has also caught the eye of AC Milan.
The Senegalese international scored 13 goals during Watford’s final campaign in the Championship. We would be very surprised if he stayed to repeat that feat this time.
EN: Emmanuel Dennis
Dennis was a rare bright spot in Watford’s miserable season, contributing 16 goals and assists and becoming a Fantasy Football staple.
Just a year after paying £3m for the Nigeria international, Watford can expect to make a huge profit on the 24-year-old.
And West Ham, desperately in need of reinforcements for Michail Antonio, seem favorites to sign him. Dennis reportedly agreed personal terms with the Hammers and would be another shrewd David Moyes signing.
Composite in the snow ❄️
???????? Emmanuel Dennis with his fifth goal of the season… pic.twitter.com/2ofw0xylnB
— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) November 28, 2021
ST: Maxwell Cornet
Cornet, as one of the club’s few salable assets, is very likely to leave Turf Moor this summer.
Signed from Lyon for £13m last summer, the Ivory Coast international scored an impressive nine league goals in 2021-22 and can play as a forward, left midfielder or left back.
No wonder he has been the subject of interest from 10 Premier League clubs, including Arsenal, Everton, Leicester and Wolves.
Manager: Sean Dyche
A solid 4-4-2, he hits the gutters and a worm catcher before kickoff; bet he will be named at Aston Villa or Everton before too long.