With an extended break from the Premier League season, the tabloids are filling column inches by discussing which players could go where this summer. It is set to be a summer of high turnover with players leaving to join bigger clubs, to try and get more game time or because their contracts have expired. Here is one player per Premier League club who could leave this summer.
Arsenal – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
The Gabon forward has been in scintillating form again this season, scoring 17 league goals to put himself just two behind Jamie Vardy in the race for the Golden Boot.
Arsenal will desperately try to keep him but, at the age of 30, he will want Champions League football and trophies. Two domestic cups will not be a fitting career return for a player of his calibre and, with Arsenal currently five points shy of the Champions League positions, they face an uphill battle to retain him. He is one of the most high profile Premier League players who could leave.
Aston Villa – Jack Grealish
Whether the Villans escape relegation or not, it seems highly unlikely that Jack Grealish will be playing for them next season.
With seven goals and six assists so far, Grealish has single-handedly kept Villa in with a fighting chance of survival. You imagine that in a bigger team he could have an even greater impact and, with both Manchester clubs linked, he might get his chance.
Bournemouth – Jordon Ibe
It seems a long time ago that Jordon Ibe was tipped to reach even higher heights than his Liverpool teammate Raheem Sterling.
Having made a £15 million switch to Bournemouth in 2016, Ibe’s career on the south coast got off to a decent start. Indeed, 57 league appearances in two seasons suggested that he would be at the club for a long time. However, this season he has played just twice in the league for The Cherries and it has been reported that he would be willing to take a paycut to join Celtic, who are reportedly interested.
Brighton – Lewis Dunk
Not the first summer he will be regarded as one of the Premier League players who could leave. Last year he was mooted as a possible replacement for Harry Maguire at Leicester but Lewis Dunk stayed on the south coast where he has, once again, been the heart of The Seagulls’ defence as they fight to remain in the league.
Dunk has been repeatedly linked with the ‘big six’ clubs, of whom only Liverpool would probably argue to be completely happy with their defensive options. At the age of 28 and with an England cap to his name, Dunk may see this as his last chance to make a big money move and improve his international chances.
Burnley – Joe Hart
Dwight McNeil is an unbelievable talent and Burnley will undoubtedly have to fend off interest. However, if he is sensible he will stay at Turf Moor and continue his development. Which means Joe Hart could be the highest profile departure.
It’s hard to think of a player in the last decade who has endured a fall from grace as dramatic as Hart. He started the 2010s winning titles with Man City and as England’s undisputed number one. He starts the 2020s as Burnley’s reserve keeper, having failed to feature in the league this season.
It’s hard to see Hart ever recapturing his former glory but, at 32, isn’t passed it as a kepper. He could still have years ahead of him and will hope to find a new home this summer.
Chelsea – Michy Batshuayi
There were a few options here and Olivier Giroud, Pedro and Ross Barkley were all considered. However, you would expect Frank Lampard to make shipping out Belgium international Batshuayi a priority.
This season was Batshuayi’s big chance to stake his Chelsea claim. With a transfer ban in force (for the summer window at least), he started the season as one of three forward options for The Blues, alongside the aging Olivier Giroud and the unproven Tammy Abraham. That he has started just one league game all season should tell you how it has gone. Chelsea should be set for a huge summer of change and Batshuayi will certainly be one to depart.
Crystal Palace – Wilfried Zaha
Wilfried Zaha’s transfer request was one of the stories of the summer transfer window as he desperately tried to exit Selhurst Park to join Arsenal, then Spurs and finally Everton. Palace had already sold Aaron Wan-Bissaka and didn’t want to lose both of their prized assets, especially on the dawn of the season so refused to sanction a sale.
The decision has hugely hindered Zaha’s form this season and he hasn’t come close to his previous heady heights. That Palace are ahead of Everton and within two points of both Arsenal and Spurs won’t prevent him from demanding another move this summer and the suspicion is that The Eagles will finally cash in. The only question hangs over whether anybody will meet the supposed £80m asking price. If Palave lower that price, he is certainly one of the more likely Premier League players who could leave.
Everton – Cenk Tosun
The Everton striker made a positive start to his loan spell at Crystal Palace after falling out of favour under Carlo Ancelotti. Unfortunately, his loan was cut short after he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury that looked set to keep him out of Euro 2020.
However, with the tournament delayed for a year, he should now has a chance to return to form and fitness and will be determined to get some playing time. That seems unlikely to come at Everton, with Ancelotti clearly not fancying him, so a return to Palace or a permanent move elsewhere once he has recovered seems likely.
Leicester – Wilfred Ndidi
Ndidi has been in sparkling form for Leicester this season. The defensive midfielder has made the third most tackles in the Premier League behind Aaron Wan-Bissaka and, his teammates, Ricardo Pereira. When the season resumes he will be key to Leicester’s top 4 hopes and Brendan Rodgers will be desperate to keep him.
However, since their remarkable title win, Leicester have proved themselves masters of selling key players for a huge profit with a replacement already targeted. Ndidi himself replaced a N’Golo Kante-shaped hole in their midfield while Riyad Mahrez and Harry Maguire have also been flogged for massive fees. With rumoured interest from Barcelona, it would be no surprise if Leicester’s scouting department are already working on a potential replacement for the Nigerian.
Liverpool – Mo Salah
The Egyptian has been astonishing since joining The Reds. He won the golden boot in 2017/18, setting a Premier League goals record. He then retained it, or at least a three way share of it, the following season. With 16 goals so far, it isn’t out of the question he could win it for a third straight season which would make it unthinkable that Liverpool would sell him, right?
Repeated links to Bundesliga duo Timo Werner and Jadon Sancho suggest that Jurgen Klopp is considering breaking up his fabled front three. Roberto Firmino’s importance to the Gegenpress system makes him indispensable and Sadio Mane is having the season of his life. It could mean the Egyptian is the one to make way.
Newcastle – Matty Longstaff
If written a few months ago, it would have been his elder brother Sean who made this list, as he was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United. However, as Sean’s formed waned that interest tailed off and it his the younger brother, Matty Longstaff, who is now coveted by the big clubs.
Marseille, AC Milan, Inter Milan, West Ham, Everton, Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Ajax, Club Brugge and Atalanta have all been credited with an interest and while Newcastle may question whether several of those would represent a step up, serious interest from the likes of Arsenal, Dortmund and Inter would certainly test The Magpies’ nerve.
Norwich – Teemu Pukki
The task of holding onto Pukki will become exponentially harder should Norwich drop to the Championship, as looks likely. However, even if they stay up it seems as though retaining the services of the Finn will be a tough test.
11 goals in his first Premier League season has been an impressive return and there will certainly be lower mid-table clubs happy to take a punt on him this summer. At 29 Pukki probably has one last big move in him so don’t be surprised if he shows up somewhere like West Ham, Crystal Palace or Newcastle next season.
Man City – Leroy Sane
He allegedly tried to leave last summer amid interest from Bayern Munich but City wouldn’t sanction a deal. Sane then injured his knee ligaments ten minutes into the Community Shield and he hasn’t featured since. City have missed him and his absence has been highlighted recently with Raheem Sterling’s form dipping.
With just a year left on his contract and City’s attempts to tie him down to a longer deal rebuffed, they might have little option but to cash in on the German this summer. European giants Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Barcelona are rumoured to be circling so it seems unlikely that he will be short of suitors.
Man United – Paul Pogba
The Frenchman’s situation is similar to that of Sane above. The club would ideally like to keep him, he clearly wants out and has spent most of the season injured. Pogba became the most expensive player in history when Manchester United brought him back to Old Trafford but he has done little to repay since then.
He has been an extremely disruptive influence on the squad and clearly cares more about his image rights and social media channels than actually using his undeniable talent to help the Red Devils back towards the summit of English football. Although he has recently expressed interest in playing alongside Bruno Fernandes, United may choose to put the squad first and ship him out to Juventus or Real Madrid. There won’t be many keener Premier League players who could leave.
Sheffield United – Dean Henderson
A bit of a cheat here as Henderson doesn’t belong to Sheffield United, he is on loan from Manchester United. However, such has been his performance for The Blades this season that fans of Manchester United and England are clamouring to make him their number one ahead of the struggling David de Gea and Jordan Pickford.
Every match-winning performance he puts in represents a double-edged sword for Sheffield United as it brings him slightly closer to leaving for bigger things. Whether he fights for the number one jersey at Old Trafford or moves elsewhere, it seems very unlikely that he will be at Bramall Lane next season. He will be a huge loss.
Southampton – Mario Lemina
The Saints actually have a fairly settled squad. Danny Ings might be coveted but is enjoying the season of his career at St Marys and surely won’t risk trying to leave for a bigger club, potentially ending up in the situation he found himself in at Liverpool.
One player who will certainly depart, however, is Mario Lemina. The Gabon international is currently on loan at Galatasaray with both sides interested in making the move permanent this summer. It’s probably fair to say that not many Southampton fans will shed a tear.
Tottenham – Jan Vertonghen
Where to begin with Spurs? In Scrabble if you don’t like your letters you can put them all back in the bag and blindly pull out a completely new selection. If Jose Mourinho could do that with his defenders, he would.
There haven’t been many bright points in Tottenham’s defence this season and change will come in the summer. Jan Vertonghen looks set to be the highest profile casualty. Undoubtedly a Spurs legend, he is still popular with the fan but, unfortunately, isn’t the player he once was. With Japhet Tanganga emerging, Vertonghen could be nearing the exit door.
Watford – Abdoulaye Doucoure
The midfielder has won plenty of admirers with his energetic performances in midfield this season, no more so than when he put in a starring performance as Watford finally ended Liverpools unbeaten run last month.
A host of pundits and former Liverpool legends urged Jurgen Klopp to sign him up after that game. Whilst the German clearly isn’t so reactive as to listen to such calls, there will be plenty of clubs who see him as an attractive proposition. Like Leicester, Watford have a history of cashing in on their star players, as Richarlison’s transfer to Everton proved.
West Ham – Jack Wilshere
Once cursed with the title of ‘future of English football’, the sad story of Jack Wilshere is one of talent curtailed by injury. Wilshere is possibly a rival to Joe Hart for a player who has fallen the furthest in the last few years.
Still somehow just 28, if Wilshere could overcome his physical problem he could still save his career. However having made just 8 appearances for the Hammers this season, that seems a long way off.
West Ham are paying Wilshere £100,000+ a week not to play so, if an opportunity to remove him from the wage bill materialises this summer, they might take it. Unfortunately, the only club stupid enough to take on a broken player earning £100,000 a week are West Ham.
Wolves – Dion Sanderson
A difficult one. Whilst Nuno Espirito Santo remains at Molineux, the feeling is that most of their big names will want to stay with him. It’s difficult to imagine, for example, Adama Traore pushing to move after the finest season in his career.
One player linked with a move, however, is highly-rated youngster Dion Sanderson. Able to play in a variety of positions, Sanderson has barely featured for Wolves impressive rearguard, making him a target for the likes of Aston Villa and Brighton.
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