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Which relegated players could be signed by Premier League clubs this summer?
Simon Winter
Simon Winter
July 21, 2020
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Born in the south east of Ireland, Simon put his life-long love of football to good use when he started a successful independent blog in 2010. That opened up an alternative route to a career in journalism, and having had work published across a number of sites and publications, Simon joined the staff at Spotlight Sports Group in 2018.

With the end of the 2019/20 Premier League season now less than a week away, clubs will be working hard behind the scenes on the deals and moves they think will set them up for a successful summer recruitment drive.

The transfer window opens on Monday, July 27 this year, just hours after the league campaign finishes, and while the impact of the coronavirus on Premier League clubs’ spending power should be hard felt, there should still be opportunities for clever market movers to find upgrades at reasonable prices.

This year, a remarkably high number of talented players face dropping out of the division with their relegated teams, though a lengthy list of suitors will be lining up to offer them a Premier League lifeline.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the players who look certain to retain their top flight status even if their clubs don’t this summer.

Remember – we’ll be covering the relegation battle with match previews and analysis on our Premier League predictions page.

Norwich City

Already relegated bottom club Norwich City are bracing themselves for a transfer feeding frenzy this summer, with a whole host of their best young Canaries look set to fly the nest before the start of next season.

Emiliano Buendia

Age: 23

Position: Attacking midfield

Possible Destinations: Tottenham, Leicester City, Leeds, Atletico Madrid

With an average of 2.3 key passes per game this season, Argentine schemer Emiliano Buendia ranks as the 5th most creative player in the entire Premier League in 2019/20. The 23-year-old’s defence splitting powers should be in demand this summer, though a move to La Liga could beckon.

Todd Cantwell

Age: 22

Position: Attacking midfield

Possible Destinations: Leicester City, Newcastle, Liverpool, Tottenham

Todd Cantwell has enjoyed an impressive Premier League campaign with City, notching six goals and two assists in a side that struggled for final third fluency. The England U21 international is technically gifted and versatile, making him an ideal fit for most top-tier clubs.

Max Aarons

Age: 20

Position: Right back

Possible Destinations: Tottenham, Arsenal

Flying full-back Max Aarons has started more games (35) in the Premier League than any other Norwich City player this season – an indication of just how highly rated the 20-year-old is at Carrow Road. Aarons has all the attributes required to develop into a top raiding right-back and should have little trouble finding a new Premier League club this summer.

Ben Godfrey

Age: 22

Position: Centre back

Possible Destinations: Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig, Man Utd

Despite his calamitous own goal against Burnley last week, Ben Godfrey remains a highly regarded defensive prospect around Europe. Several Premier League clubs have been linked with a move for the 22-year-old, though Godfrey might prefer to seek pastures new in Germany’s Bundesliga.


Second from bottom Bournemouth need a last day Merseyside miracle to avoid the drop this summer. The Cherries, who were promoted to England’s top-flight in 2015, must hope Watford lose at home to Man City on Tuesday, before attempting to secure a great escape via a win at Everton on the season’s final day on Sunday.

Nathan Ake

Age: 25

Position: Centre back

Possible Destinations: Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea

Dutch international defender Nathan Ake has performed manfully for the Cherries this season in what has been an overwhelmingly dreadful campaign overall for Eddie Howe’s men. With half a decade of Premier League experience behind him, the naturally left-footed defender should prove a smart acquisition for any club that picks him up – though the latest gossip suggests a move to Man City is virtually sealed.

Bournemouth's Joshua King in action with Everton's Seamus Coleman

Joshua King

Age: 28

Position: Attacker

Possible Destinations: Liverpool, Man Utd, Chelsea, Tottenham

Pacey Norwegian forward Joshua King was priced out of a move to Man Utd in January earlier this year, though a return to Old Trafford for the former United youth teamer could be rekindled this summer. Recent reports indicated that four of the Premier League’s top six clubs were eyeing a deal for the 28-year-old, who notched double figure goals in two of this last four campaigns for the Cherries.

Callum Wilson

Age: 28

Position: Centre-forward

Possible Destinations: Leicester City, Wolves, Leeds

Callum Wilson’s stock has fallen a little since last summer, when the newly capped England international was strongly linked with a whopping £50m to Chelsea, though the 28-year-old striker should still have options should the Cherries drop to the Championship this summer. Still a deadly finisher on his day, Wilson has the skillset to make an impact at most clubs in the Premier League.

David Brooks

Age: 23

Position: Midfield

Possible Destinations: Leicester City, Man Utd, Everton, Tottenham

Welsh international midfielder David Brooks has had to endure an injury stricken 2019/20 season, though the 23-year-old showed enough promise in his previous campaign to suggest he has a Premier League future. The ex-Man City and Sheffield United academy starlet should be one of the first players to leave the Vitality Stadium if Bournemouth’s’ relegation is confirmed this weekend.

Aston Villa

Big-spending Aston Villa have just two games to save their Premier League skins starting with their home game against FA Cup finalists Arsenal on Tuesday evening. While several Villains look set to leave this summer even if they stay up, relegation could see the club gutted of its best players with pressure to balance the books intense after last year’s £100m splurge.

Jack Grealish

Age: 24

Position: Attacking midfield

Possible Destinations: Man Utd, Man City, Tottenham, Liverpool

Talismanic Villa icon Jack Grealish, who has seven goals and six assists in the Premier League this season, could finally leave his hometown club this summer, though the inventive midfielder won’t come cheap. Already, prices north of £60m have been bandied about in the media as possible fees for Grealish, and the 24-year-old is expected to have his pick of the division’s biggest names when his departure is agreed.

John McGinn

Age: 25

Position: Central midfield

Possible Destinations: Man Utd, Tottenham, Leicester City, Newcastle

Dynamic midfielder John McGinn had made a real splash in the Premier League at the beginning of the season before an injury halted his progress. The Scottish international has struggled to find his best form since the restart and his return to fitness, though the 25-year-old will still rank near the top of several clubs’ lists of potential summer recruits.

Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings

Tyrone Mings

Age: 27

Position: Centre back

Possible Destinations: Arsenal, Everton, West Ham, Newcastle

Aston Villa will hope to recoup the £20m they paid to sign Tyrone Mings from Bournemouth last summer, and with the 27-year-old rumoured to be on the watch list of half a dozen Premier League clubs, the Villains should have little trouble getting their money back. Mings has had plenty of good and bad moments this season, though the twice capped England international is still expected to be in demand with quality central defensive options thin on the ground.

Douglas Luiz

Age: 22

Position: Central midfield

Possible Destinations: Man City, Juventus, Arsenal, Sevilla

Brazilian holding midfielder has been impressively consistent in Aston Villa’s struggling team this season, and this summer, many are expecting his former club Manchester City to activate the buy-back clause they placed in the deal that took him to Villa last year. If the Citizens don’t take up their option however, Luiz could seek a new challenge in either Italy or Spain.


With final fixtures against Manchester City and Arsenal, fourth from bottom Watford will fear the worst this season, and a couple of heavy defeats could see them tumble into the drop zone at the campaign’s climax.

Gerard Deulofeu

Age: 26

Position: Winger

Possible Destinations: Barcelona, Man City, Man Utd, Liverpool

With four caps for Spain and an education earned at Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy, Gerard Deulofeu isn’t short on pedigree, and the pacey Watford winger will be quick to push for a move if the Hornets are relegated this summer. The 26-year-old, who is equally adept on either flank, has the potential to be a match-winner on his good days, and a number of high-profile clubs will consider him an excellent squad option.

Ismaila Sarr

Age: 22

Position: Winger

Possible Destinations: Liverpool, West Ham, Leicester City, PSG

Watford’s club record signing Ismaila Sarr has only shown glimpses of his simmering potential following his move from France last year, though the 22-year-old continues to be linked with a summer switch away from Vicarage Road. Liverpool, who were torn to shreds by Sarr earlier this year, are thought to be leading the chase to sign the winger.

Watford midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure vs Man Utd

Abdoulaye Doucoure

Age: 27

Position: Central midfield

Possible Destinations: Man Utd, Chelsea, Tottenham, Everton

Everton pushed hard to sign marauding midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure from Watford in January, and the Toffees are expected to renew their interest in the 27-year-old at the first opportunity this summer. The Blues should have plenty of competition for his signature this time around however, with several other Premier League clubs targeting midfield reinforcements.

Will Hughes

Age: 25

Position: Central midfield

Possible Destinations: Leicester City, Newcastle, West Ham, Sheffield United

Midfielder Will Hughes is far too classy an operator to spend a season in the Championship, and the 25-year-old would be a superb addition for a number of Premier League clubs. Hughes wouldn’t cost the earth, and the former England U21 international has all the tactical and technical attributes to be a hit wherever he ends up.

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