Many clubs are in dire need of reinforcements and have started the hunt to secure the men they need. Yet, with the current financial situation, many clubs are finding it a challenge to find the means to splash money for big-name signings. Thus, there may be a surge in transfer targets from lower leagues of the division than the norm. Also why bigger clubs should look to poach stars from relegated sides to improve their squads on a budget.
The best place for the bigger clubs would be none other than the relegated teams of the top divisions in Europe. With many players showing excellent potential, a move for the better names in these rather lacklustre sides could result in acquisitions that might come at a bargain. Let’s look at the top ten relegated stars that might be on the radar of the bigger clubs in Europe.
1) SANDER BERGE
There’s no better way of putting this… Sander Berge is simply too good to not play in the top divisions of Europe. The Number 8 missed a huge chunk of matches in the Premier League due to injury. He did make a return in the latter stages of the season but was not able to save Sheffield United from relegation.
Standing at 6ft 3inches, the midfielder is physical and energetic. He is excellent with the ball at his feet and is often the outlet when pressure intensifies. Although his defensive contribution might not be the best, he makes up for it with an excellent reading of the game. He will feel he has unfinished business in the Premier League and will want to make a return.
🇳🇴⚔️ Sander Berge Champions League and Europa League stats:
2 tackles per 90
1.7 dribbles per 90
└ 81.3% success rate
4.5 accurate long balls per 90
└ 74% long ball accuracy
3.5 aerial duels won per 90
└ 72.2% aerial duel win rate
7.10 WhoScored rating https://t.co/T88IWY1SbQ
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) January 30, 2020
Manchester City and Liverpool have already been linked with the player in the past and with a 35-million-euro price tag, he might make a move. With the departure of Gini Wijnaldum, the Reds will be looking at men who could come in to fill the gap. However, Arsenal might well be the best fit for the player as he could potentially slot right into the first team.
2) RAFA MIR
Spanish forward Rafa Mir scored an astounding thirteen goals for relegated side Huesca in La Liga. The centre forward who can also play from the right is an absolute beast in and around the six-yard box. He previously struggled to find the net in the teams he played prior to joining Huesca on loan. This season though, he has seemed to find his shooting boots.
🚀 Esta temporada no ha dejado de sorprendernos.
— LaLiga (@LaLiga) June 18, 2021
It is fair to say that a striker of his quality has the potential to play for the bigger clubs in Europe. The Wolverhampton player has only featured in two games for the club since joining them in 2018. He has since been sent on loan across various clubs in Europe. However, this might be a good time to call the player back into the squad. With Valencia and other Spanish sides showing interest, Wolves will need to make a decision soon.
3) ANDRE-FRANK ZAMBO ANGUISSA
The 25-year-old Cameroon international displayed some impressive performances for a rather unappealing Fulham side. He played nearly every game for the club in the league and provided three assists from a deep central defensive position. Andre Anguissa completed well over a thousand passes in the league with an accuracy of 84 per cent. A Pogba-esque player capable of playing out from midfield, holding up play and creating chances.
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) February 21, 2021
The defensive side of his game is also impressive. Anguissa made nearly 120 tackles for the relegated side. His excellent dribbling skills and his eye to spot a pass makes him a threat from deep positions. He reads the game perfectly and is valued for his interceptions as well.
The last time Fulham were relegated, the player was loaned out to Villarreal. This time, it looks like the player might make a permanent move. Arsenal is trying to revamp their squad and has reportedly been scouting the player. Lazio is also monitoring the player and it will be interesting to see who will secure this cut-price central defensive midfielder.
4) MILOT RASHICA
Kosovan international Milot Rashica made 24 appearances for relegated Bundesliga side Werder Bremen. The No.7 was often deployed as higher up the field rather than his traditional attacking midfield role. The versatile forward is more prominent for the other factors he brings to the table rather than the goals or assists.
#OnThisDay in 2⃣0⃣1⃣9⃣
— UEFA.com DE (@UEFAcom_de) June 10, 2021
The player often drifts wide with the ball, dribbling past players to feed attackers with crosses. His excellent close control enables him to carry the ball infield from wide positions. He has a good eye to pick out players on the far ends of the field and if options aren’t available, he is not hesitant to shoot from range either.
The player has previously been linked with Liverpool and Leipzig and with both teams looking to bolster their squads an approach for the player might be on the cards. However, Aston Villa’s latest interest in the player might be the best match. The club is on a spending spree, looking to break into the upper half of the League. This might well suit both parties and will ensure the player decent game time as well.
5) MATHEUS PEREIRA
The Brazilian forward scored eleven goals and assisted six for relegated Premier League side West Bromwich Albion. He was a phenomenon that was stuck in a mess. The club shouldered too much-attacking responsibility on the 25-year-old. There was no other player in the team that scored more than three goals for the club in the campaign.
— Matheus Pereira (@MatheusPereira) June 13, 2021
The player is all “Brazilian” with the ball at his feet and is a treat to watch. His exceptional passing skills and strong set-pieces give him an edge over your average forwards. Capable of scoring goals from almost anywhere on the ground, the player poses a threat every time he is on the ball.
While it is understood that Leeds United might not sign the player, Norwich City and Brentford have reportedly made moves to acquire the talent. A reduced fee of 15 million pounds is the asking price and with both teams looking to make an impact after gaining promotion, it will be an interesting race.
6) SAM JOHNSTONE
Another West Bromwich player that has gained a lot of attention despite being relegated. Just like Pereira, Sam Johnstone was a crucial part of the squad. He made 166 saves in the Premier League, more than any keeper, to keep the club afloat as long as possible. If not for him, relegation would have come much sooner than it did.
— England (@England) June 15, 2021
His amazing performances were noticed by the England camp and thus was offered a spot in Euros. Sam Johnstone has proved his quality and has attracted the attention of all the big clubs in Europe. While all the Premier League big Six already have excellent first-choice goalkeepers, some of them lack a decent competition for the spot. The former Manchester United keeper might make a trip back to Old Trafford if the Red Devils are prepared to meet the asking price set by West Brom.
Leeds United are also reportedly looking to secure the signing of the 28-year-old. With a lot of attention being generated, it will be no surprise to see the player make a move this summer.
7) JAVI GALAN
Twenty-six-year-old Javi Gallan has been one of the best players for relegated La Liga side Huesca. The Spanish left-back is excellent with the ball at his feet and likes to drive forward. He is often found higher up and poses an attacking threat in the left flank. Capable of delivering accurate crosses, the full-back has generated attention among the other teams in the league.
3⃣ Javi Galan (Huesca)
🤤 Total Dribbles – 93
⏱️ Dribbles per 90 – 3.5
👌 Dribble Success – 80.2%
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) March 28, 2021
His defensive influence was also crucial to the team. The defender constantly pressures the ball and makes more than three successful tackles per ninety. His defensive ability combined with his capability to progress the ball makes him a valuable asset. A perfect modern-day attacking full-back.
La Liga side Sevilla has been keeping tabs on the player and a potential bid might just be around the corner. With Premier League side Leeds United constantly being linked with a move for the player, interested clubs will need to act fast. Galan fits perfectly into the hardworking Leeds side and his bargain price makes him all the more alluring.
8) ELLYES SHIKRI
Tunisian midfielder Ellyes Shikri was one of the best players for Bundesliga side FC Koln. Although the club was relegated, the performances that were showcased by the player was commendable. The defensive midfielder scored five goals and provided two assists in the campaign. He played nearly all the games and was a crucial presence in the midfield.
— 1. FC Köln (@fckoeln) November 28, 2020
Shikri has an excellent understanding of the game and often reads the play to intercept passes. Playing nearly 1500 passes with an accuracy of 87 percentage, he was the instigator of the side. The player also made 83 successful tackles throughout the campaign and often controlled the game in the middle.
Lyon was reportedly on the hunt for the signature of the 26-year-old. Recent reports also suggest that West Ham are interested in the player as well. The Tunisian international will fit perfectly in David Moyes plan for the coming season. His defensive acumen and ball-playing skills suit the Hammers and thus it would the best match for the player.
American national Joshua Sargent is just 21 years of age. The forward has already made waves in the Bundesliga, scoring five goals and providing two for relegated side Werder Bremen. The United States national team striker has had the best season of his career and is being sought after by the big names in Bundesliga.
The young talent has a lot to offer and is sure to be approached by one or the other clubs soon. Borussia Mönchengladbach is linked with the acquisition but there are also a number of potential Premier League clubs that might be interested in the player as well. With many teams looking to swoop in young talents, Werder Bremen will likely receive a bid this summer.
10) MAMA BALDE
Mama Balde was one of the better players of relegated Ligue 1 side Dijon. The versatile forward secured seven goals for his club, playing across a variety of positions in midfield and attack. Although seven goals do not reflect the virtues of a top striker, the player has shown glimpses of brilliance.
There are many clubs on the lookout for versatile attacking options to fill the plugs. Besiktas and Frankfurt have reportedly already made links to secure the player. It is possible that the player moves away from Ligue 1 to revamp his career. A newly promoted team like Brentford and Norwich could also be a destination for this relegated star.