Five relegation candidates unlikely to be in the Championship next year
Which chosen few will jump ship?
With as many as four clubs still in the race to join West Brom in the Championship next season, Premier League vultures are already circling in preparation to pick off the relegated teams’ best players. The Spoiler has a look at 5 players who are likely to continue plying their trade in the top flight whatever the outcome on Sunday. Jeremie Aliadiere need not apply.
Sunderland: Kenwyne Jones
Kenwyne Jones’ importance to Sunderland has been underlined by his bagging 9 goals in the league this season, despite spending the first few months on the physio’s table. Although Spurs boss Harry Redknapp recently denied he was still interested in the 24-year-old striker after a failed transfer bid in January, speculation over Roman Pavlyuchenko’s imminent exit from White Hart Lane is rife, and a move could still be on the cards.
Hull: Michael Turner
One of the outstanding performers in Hull’s promotion winning campaign, Turner has won the Tigers’ fans Player of The Year award in three successive seasons and even been tipped for an England squad call-up. News of Man City putting in a £6m bid in the winter transfer window has since evaporated, but the young centre back will be one of Hull’s most sought after players should they not avoid the drop.
Newcastle: Sebastien Bassong
Newcastle are likely to see the biggest exodus if it all goes tits up on Sunday, not least because of the massive wage bill that the club will be taking down with it. Even with his severe decline in stock over recent years, no-one expects Michael Owen to be firing them in at Championship level next season. He’ll be very likely be followed by Coloccini, Gutierrez, and one of the few rays of hope at St. James’ Park this season, Sebastien Bassong.
Middlesbrough: David Wheater
Due to Gareth Southgate’s admirable policy of cultivating young domestic talent rather than looking to the continent, a number of Boro’s key players are currently being eyed up by prospective suitors. Stuart Downing has already handed in his notice, while West Ham are rumoured to be wrapping up a deal for Matthew Bates. One member of the squad fans will definitely miss is defensive rock David Wheater, coveted by Alex McLeish for Birmingham’s return to the top flight.
West Brom: Chris Brunt
Chris Brunt’s blistering end of season form (5 in the last 6) could be the catalyst for his departure from the Hawthorns this summer. Tony Mowbray has vowed to keep hold of his best players, but with Aston Villa knocking at the door and 14 other Premier League club scouts allegedly sitting in the crowd for the Baggies’ match against Wigan a few weeks ago, the manager may be helpless to stop an exit.
Which players would you want your club to save from cold Tuesday nights away at Doncaster next year? Add your picks below…