Which sought-after players from relegated clubs could return to the Premier League?
Drew Goodsell | 4 August 2020
We look at six players that could remain in the top flight
After a season to forget for Bournemouth, Norwich and Watford, they’ll be plying their trade in the Championship next term.
But as is the norm with relegation to the second tier, some of their performing stars may look for moves away to remain in the top flight.
From players in their breakthrough seasons, to Premier League veterans, we’ve looked at which players could be available and make an impact in the top tier next season.
Troy Deeney (Watford)
It’s hard to imagine Watford without Troy Deeney, with the 32-year-old striker being an ever-present face among the forever changing Watford squads for the last 10 years.
Watford’s five-year tenure in the Premier League came to an end on the final day of the season, and with that, it could be the end of Deeney’s spell as Watford captain.
His record of 47 Premier League goals in 163 appearances may not sound a lot, but his goals have kept Watford’s top-flight status for longer than most could imagine.
He’s been linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur, and if that happens, it could provide Spurs with the piece of the puzzle they’ve been missing in Harry Kane’s absence.
Deeney provides a strong presence up front, battling defenders into mistakes. Spurs have that with Kane leading the line, but without him, it’s a threat that the likes of Lucas Moura and Heung-min Son just don’t offer.
Callum Wilson (Bournemouth)
This season may not have shown the full abilities of Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson, with only seven league goals to his name, but that doesn’t take away from the threat he can be.
Signed from Coventry City in 2014, Wilson’s 20 Championship goals led the Cherries to their first appearance in the Premier League.
Wilson has managed 40 Premier League goals in 126 appearances, but like Deeney, he’s far more than just a goalscorer. His pace and power can get in behind defences and create space for others.
The Cherries have previously rejected a number of advances from West Ham United for Wilson, and other clubs have shown an interest too.
He’ll feel he still has more to prove in the top tier, and if he can find his way back into the Premier League, with Newcastle United rumoured to be sniffing around him, he could prove a worthwhile purchase in the right team.
Todd Cantwell (Norwich City)
The first of many young Canaries to have caught the eye in the Premier League after gaining promotion from the Championship last season, Todd Cantwell is being lined up by a whole host of top-flight teams.
Cantwell’s stats may not shine as bright as others in the league, but he managed six goals and two assists in his first campaign in a Norwich City side which rarely showed much by way of an attacking threat.
The 22-year-old local, born and raised in Dereham, Norfolk, struggled to get to grips with the physical nature of the Championship in his breakthrough season, but has suited the Premier League.
A big-money move to remain in the Premier League looks on the cards, with the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Leicester City all rumoured to have enquired about his availability.
Norwich City sporting director Stuart Webber has warned potential suitors that a move for any of their stars won’t come cheap, with the club in a strong position financially and of their stars tied down to long-term deals.
Max Aarons (Norwich City)
If rumours are to be believed, Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich are one of the sides who have come knocking for Canaries right back Max Aarons in recent weeks.
He took a little longer to acclimatise to life in the Premier League than he did in his breakout season in the Championship, but Aarons still showed glimpses of what he can offer.
The 20-year-old is rumoured to be on the market for anywhere upwards of £20m, with Norwich bringing in Bali Mumba from Sunderland and Sam McCallum from Coventry to fill any potential voids at full back.
Tottenham Hotspur could still come knocking, with rumours linking their starting right back Serge Aurier with a move away from North London.
Joshua King (Bournemouth)
After a rumoured return to Manchester United broke down in January, with the Red Devils opting to sign Odion Ighalo on loan instead, Joshua King could be back on the market.
Now 28-years-old, his best years could yet be ahead of him, with the Norwegian striker scoring 48 goals in his five seasons in the Premier League with the Cherries.
He’s been linked to a number of clubs already, with Burnley, Everton and Brighton among the list of clubs looking for his signature.
It’s rumoured that Everton’s star striker Richarlison is looking to move elsewhere, so King could be a relatively cheap option in the short term to fill his boots, with a proven goalscoring record.
King has managed two campaigns where he’s scored double figures, the best of which was in the 2016/17 campaign where he found the net 16 times.
Ismaïla Sarr (Watford)
The man who ended Liverpool’s hopes of an unbeaten Premier League season, Ismaïla Sarr was perhaps Watford’s biggest shining light from an altogether underwhelming campaign.
Signed a year ago from Rennes for what was a club record £30m, Sarr scored five goals in his debut campaign, including two in that win over Liverpool.
Rumours are linking the 22-year-old winger with a move across London, with Crystal Palace reportedly interested in his services should Wilfried Zaha finally leave Selhurst Park this summer.
Liverpool and Wolves have also reportedly enquired about his availability, but there has been no formal contact made with Watford yet.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication.