10 players from relegated clubs who could make great Premier League signings
Jordan Pickford (Sunderland)
After spending several seasons flirting with demotion to the Championship, the Black Cats finally ran out of lives this term. Yet given the strength of Pickford’s performances in his debut Premier League campaign, it's unlikely that the 23-year-old – who has already been linked with Everton, West Ham, Manchester City and Arsenal – will go down with them.
The local lad was handed the No.1 shirt (figuratively speaking) in August and didn’t let anyone down. As well as being an excellent shot-stopper, Pickford caught the eye with his pinpoint long-range distribution that helps turn defence into attack very quickly.
The England U21 international would be a sensible long-term investment for a number of Premier League clubs, even for a mooted £25-30m fee.
Benjamin Moukandjo (Lorient)
A number of Cameroon's high-profile stars opted to sit out the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, but not Moukandjo. Instead, the Indomitable Lions captain lifted the trophy following a 2-1 victory over Egypt in the final, a game in which he was also named Man of the Match.
Things didn't work out quite as well for the striker at club level: after finishing the Ligue 1 season in 18th, Lorient were relegated with a 2-1 aggregate play-off loss to Troyes. The 28-year-old Moukandjo still managed 13 goals in 25 appearances, mind.
Mehdi Carcela-Gonzalez (Granada)
Even Tony Adams couldn't save Granada, who will be competing in the second tier of Spanish football next term.
Carcela-Gonzalez only joined the Spaniards last summer and is under contract at the Estadio de Los Carmenes until 2020, but he's still likely to seek pastures new as the window reopens. The Moroccan wideman turns 28 in July and, having enjoyed a decent season in La Liga, will be keen to return to one of Europe's top leagues. Leicester and Sunderland were both linked with the tricky dribbler this time last year.
Ilija Nestorovski (Palermo)
Palermo's policy of hiring and firing 45 managers (approximately) per-season was always going to catch up with them at some point, and so it proved in 2016/17.
If it wasn’t for Nestorovski, however, the Sicilians may have been relegated long before early May. The Macedonian frontman scored 11 goals and provided three assists – including a delightful piece of skill to set up Robin Quaison against Sassuolo – in his debut Serie A season.
Everton and Fiorentina are two of the clubs reportedly interested in the 6ft forward, who cost Palermo just £425,000 last summer.