Choosing ten players who can expect to be playing Premier League football next season despite their club being relegated proved to be a harder task than I initially thought. There are many good choices out there. To fully clarify this is a list of players I expect to be in the Premier League next season not necessarily players that would get interest. This explains why certain players missed out on the list.
Some players that have come through the youth system and are now first-team players at West Ham haven’t made the list. These include James Tomkins, Mark Noble, Jack Collison, Freddie Sears, Junior Stanislas, Zavon Hines and Jordan Spence. The reason why none of these players have been included is because they are the future of West Ham and how the Hammers will look to rebuild the squad. They will be very keen to hold onto these players.
Despite quite good reputations I can’t see Cameron Jerome or Nikola Zigic getting much interest from Premier League teams mainly due to their poor individual goal returns this season – particularly in the league. However, there were a number of other contenders for the list that might be seen as unlucky to miss out these include Liam Ridgewell, Scott Dann and Craig Gardner.
Blackpool don’t offer much in defensive quality, but there is still plenty of quality to be had in the attacking players. The player that came closest to making the list that didn’t were Gary Taylor-Fletcher mainly because I didn’t feel he scored enough goals.
Roger Johnson can expect to be a highly sought after player in the summer after doing well at the heart of the Birmingham City defence. Being 6ft3in tall and having the right level of experience at 28 could be crucial elements for Premier League clubs looking to strengthen their defence.
Johnson learned his trade in the lower leagues with Wycombe and then in the Championship with Cardiff, but will now want to remain in the Premier League. Birmingham will probably want to recoup the £5m they spent on the player when they signed him from Cardiff.
Possible destination: Liverpool.
Matthew Upson has the sort of experience that should interest a number of Premier League teams. Upson has also won 21 caps for England and will be unwilling to drop into the Championship while he still feels he can do a job in the Premier League. Upson may also feel he can still do a job for England and will know that he has to remain in the Premier League to keep that option open to him.
Possible Destinations: Sunderland or Newcastle United.
Before the 2010 World Cup Robert Green was one of the most highly rated keepers in the Premier League. However, that costly error against the USA seems to have shaken his confidence. Robert Green has had decent games this season and pulled off fine saves – but there have also been a number of costly errors.
A move may be just what the keeper needs and I expect a Premier League club will take the gamble. Green is also one of a number of players who no longer wishes to play for England.
Possible Desinations: Tottenham, Aston Villa.
DJ Campbell has been a real surprise package this season and the form he has shown may well be enough to earn him a move to a Premier League club. Blackpool paid a transfer fee of around £1.25m for Campbell last summer and I think it is fair to say that they got real value with the 13 goals he has scored in the Premier League. If Campbell does move on in the summer then Blackpool can expect to receive a significant profit.
Possible Destinations: Celtic, Everton.
Scott Parker has had another fine season and here is a player that must remain in the Premier League next season. Even at 30 years old he would be a fantastic signing with the qualities he has. Parker’s ability as a holding midfield player would make a real difference to many Premier League teams and it’s a shame he has only won 5 caps for England.
Possible Destination: Tottenham.
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