8 players from this season’s relegated teams who deserve a Premier League move this summer
8. Neil Etheridge (Cardiff)
Cardiff’s newly crowned Player of the Year and perhaps the only footballer they own that Premier League clubs should covet. The Bluebirds benefited from outstanding goalkeeping, courtesy of David Marshall, in their previous Premier League season, and history has repeated itself.
Only Lukasz Fabianski has made more stops and Etheridge, a penalty specialist, began with saving spot kicks in his first two games. Bournemouth could do worse than sign him.
7. Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield)
A revelation during his first two campaigns in Yorkshire, Mooy has not quite maintained that form. Equally, given Huddersfield’s fortunes, it would be hard to sustain that level and he has still been better than most. More to the point, his industry, passing and set-piece prowess mean he has much to offer in a Premier League midfield.
Rafa Benitez is reportedly an admirer, though Mike Ashley might not like Mooy’s age: 29 in September.
6. Victor Camarasa (Cardiff)
Spanish flair players rarely gravitate towards Neil Warnock and vice versa but, even in a prosaic Cardiff team, Camarasa has shown both class and a level of productivity that invite questions about what he could do in a stronger side. He has scored five goals, showcasing his technique with spectacular strikes against Leicester and Chelsea, and registered four assists during his loan spell from Real Betis.
He has been linked with Tottenham, but the mid-table pack should be targeting him.
5. Philip Billing (Huddersfield)
It is almost two months since Philip Billing’s last game for Huddersfield; this season and, perhaps, ever. And yet a footballer omitted by Jan Siewert has his peers’ approval.
The Huddersfield squad voted Billing their player of the year; for good measure, he added the young player award. He has come of age, a huge figure with a powerful shot from distance (he has hit the woodwork three times, in addition to his two goals). And his long throws could appeal to the pragmatists.
4. Jean-Michael Seri (Fulham)
Perhaps the season’s greatest disappointment, Seri’s Fulham form may prompt few offers. And yet a more enlightened approach might be to consider Xavi’s 2017 words, when he urged Barcelona to sign a player compared to him, and wonder what he might do at a club with a proper recruitment process and in a team that could defend.
He could be the new Idrissa Gueye, relegated ignominiously in his first season in England but excelling after a change of scenery.
3. Terence Kongolo (Huddersfield)
It is five years since a young Virgil van Dijk was omitted from Holland’s 2014 World Cup squad in favour of an even younger Kongolo. It is fair to say one Dutchman has achieved more than another since then.
Yet Kongolo has shown enough to indicate why he is Huddersfield’s record signing. A comparatively rare left-footed centre-back boasts enviable pace, has a neat line in well-timed recovery challenges and could slot in much higher up the division.
2. Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham)
Despite a barren second half to the season, Mitrovic has still managed 11 league goals. Few scored more for bottom-half clubs. In short, it was not his fault Fulham went down and a target man offers the potential of potency that many clubs lack. West Ham have been tipped to sign the Serb. Others in search of a scorer could join an auction.
1. Ryan Sessegnon (Fulham)
An underwhelming year – even if a tally of six assists suggests Sessegnon has done better than it feels – could work in the favour of buyers. His price should have dropped. Fulham cannot ask for £50 million for a man whose only taste of Premier League football has been disappointing. And yet he is still only 18. He could be a project for Jurgen Klopp or Mauricio Pochettino.
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