Premier League relegated XI – and who should sign them

Norwich, Bournemouth and Watford were relegated from the Premier League last season.

While Norwich knew their fate with a few games to go, Bournemouth and Watford fought until the very last day.

Despite the fact that these three teams suffered the drop, there are actually some very useful players in each of their squads.

Here, we make the best XI possible from players relegated from the Premier League in 2019/20.

It is not based on last season alone, but it is strongly taken into account.

We will also point out which clubs should sign each player.

Players who have left the club since the end of the season are counted. Players either on loan at or loaned out by the clubs last season are not.

This means there is no place for Harry Wilson or Pervis Estupinan.

Ben Foster

Ben Foster kicks-off our XI, having had yet another consistent season in the Premier League. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY THE DAILY MAIL.

Of the three starting goalkeepers that got relegated last season, Ben Foster is undoubtedly the best.

He has proven himself in the Premier League for over a decade. He rarely puts a foot wrong and is incredibly reliable between the sticks.

His 9 clean sheets in 2019/20 are four more than both Tim Krul and Aaron Ramsdale.

While he did have to make less saves than his rivals, he made more high claims than them. In fact, his 30 high claims were the second-most in the league.

This shows that he enables his defenders to relax, as they know that he will make the right decision at the right time.

Who should sign him?

Southampton, Sheffield United and West Brom all need keepers.

They could get a lot worse than Foster, although, at 37, he would only be a short-term solution.

Max Aarons

Max Aarons has been tipped to leave Norwich this summer – a move to a European superpower could be on the cards. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY GOAL.

Norwich had a dreadful campaign last season, particularly from a defensive aspect.

Yet Max Aarons showed that he still has phenomenal potential.

He only turned 20 in January, yet he played every game he was available for in the league, making 36 appearances.

Of course, Aarons did not have a fantastic campaign, but his age, 2018/19 performances in the Championship, as well as the lack of fantastic competition sees him make this XI.

Who should sign him?

A move to Spurs would make a lot of sense. They badly need a right-back and Aarons could come in and hold the position for the next ten years.

However, Jose Mourinho is unlikely to trust a 20-year-old attacking fullback in the immediate future.

He has also been linked to Bayern Munich, which would be a great move for both the player and the club.

Ben Godfrey

Ben Godfrey has all the tools to be a top centre-back in future – a good coach could transform him into something special. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY SKY SPORTS.

As mentioned, Norwich were dreadful from a defensive aspect in 2019/20.

So it will be a surprise to some to see two of their players in this XI’s back four.

Yet Ben Godfrey, like Aarons, still showed that he has enormous potential. His pace and strength are fantastic, especially for such a young defender.

Maybe Craig Dawson is a more reliable option, while Christian Kabasele can be fantastic at times, but Godfrey will probably go on to have a better career than both of them.

To have 30 Premier League games under his belt at 22 years of age in central defence is a great achievement. It will certainly help his future prospects.

Who should sign him?

Godfrey will hope to be playing for a top club in four or five years time.

There are numerous ways that he could go about doing this.

He could stay and star in the Championship, he could sign for a decent Premier League club and get more regular minutes or he could sign for an elite Premier League side and become third or fourth-choice for a few years.

His price tag may keep some suitors away, but a move to Everton would make sense.

If not, then a move to the Bundesliga would be great, perhaps to work under Marco Rose at Borussia Monchengladbach or Peter Bosz at Bayer Leverkusen.

Nathan Ake

Ake is the definition of a Rolls-Royce defender. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY SKY SPORTS.

Nathan Ake was the first name on the team sheet.

He didn’t have his best season but still exuded quality every time he took to the pitch for Bournemouth.

A regular in the Holland national team, there was no way that a player of his ability should be playing in the Championship.

Ake is possibly one of the best players to be relegated from the Premier League in the last few years.

Who should sign him?

Manchester City have completed the signing of Ake from Bournemouth for £41m on a five-year deal. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY MANCHESTER CITY.

Manchester City have already snapped him up in a £41 million deal.

It remains to be seen whether Pep Guardiola sees him as a regular starter or as more of a rotation player, as he plays on the left side like Aymeric Laporte.

He probably isn’t at the level to start every game for a team hoping to win the Champions League, but we will find out in the coming season.

Diego Rico

Diego Rico has gone under the radar at times, but is a fine left-back who is more than capable of staying in the top tier. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY THE BOURNEMOUTH ECHO.

Jamal Lewis has been tipped as one for the future at Norwich, but there is no way that he is a better player than Diego Rico at this moment in time.

The Spaniards 84 interceptions was the most in the league last campaign, while he also got four assists.

He was one of the few Bournemouth players whose performances improved this season, rather than declined.

Who should sign him?

If he was a bit younger, Rico would be a smart pick up for practically any club.

Yet at 27, he only represents a relatively short-term option.

If Leicester lose Ben Chilwell then they could do a lot worse than having Rico at left-back for a few years, while Newcastle should also take a look if the price is right.

Yet the best place to go may be Sevilla in his homeland, as Sergio Reguillon’s loan spell has drawn to a conclusion.

Etienne Capoue

Etienne Capoue is a perfect number 6 – a good ball-winner who uses it well when he wins it. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY THE WATFORD OBSERVER.

As far as out-and-out defensive midfielders go, Etienne Capoue is up there with the best in England.

The ex-Tottenham player is one of the most underrated players in the league, bringing a fantastic blend of class and stability to the Hornet’s midfield.

Last season, he averaged 4.8 tackles and interceptions per game, while he is also a sublime passer.

Were it not for the Frenchman, Watford would probably have been relegated a lot sooner.

His teammates Abdoulaye Doucoure, Roberto Perreyra and Will Hughes also warrant a mention here.

Who should sign him?

Like Foster, Capoue’s age will cause many teams to hold back on signing him.

He will be 33 next month, meaning a lot of Premier League teams will avoid him, unless he is available for well below market value.

He would be a good temporary option for the likes of Everton, but a return to France makes a lot of sense at this stage of his career.

Philip Billing

Billing can play in holding midfield or the box-to-box role and he has numerous great footballing characteristics. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY THE INDEPENDENT.

The formation of this team is a 4-2-3-1, so joining Capoue in the double-pivot is Bournemouth’s Philip Billing.

The Dane has been relegated twice in a row now but should get another move to a Premier League side this summer.

He is an incredibly underrated box-to-box midfielder. At 6’6″, he stands out on the pitch and brings a great physical presence. He also has a very useful long throw.

He only turned 24 in June, meaning he has loads of time to improve.

Who should sign him?

Newcastle are a team in bad need of midfield reinforcements, as are Everton.

Wolves need to start thinking about replacing Joao Moutinho and Billing may be the man to do so.

He should be aiming for these types of teams, rather than ones who could be battling relegation.

He could also move to an Arsenal or Leicester City as a deputy.

Emiliano Buendia

An excellent passer, dribbler and tackler – Buendia may spark a transfer tug-of-war. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY THE 72.

The case of Emi Buendia is a strange one.

His numbers are up there with some very elite players, yet he was still dropped by Norwich for a period last season. Inconsistency and his lack of goals seemingly held him back.

Yet he created seven assists, made 2.3 key passes and 2.8 tackles a game, which is more than any other winger or attacking midfielder in the league.

At 23-years-old, Buendia is already a fantastic creator and an outstanding presser. He will only get better as he gets older.

He is absolutely too good to play Championship football for another season.

Who should sign him?

Every club in Europe should be after the Argentine.

Leicester City perhaps makes the most sense, as the right-wing is the one hole in their starting line-up.

If Arsenal plan on playing a number 10, then Buendia would be great there, while his pressing would suit Liverpool perfectly, but he lacks the blistering pace that Jurgen Klopp likes with his wingers.

He would also suit the likes of Atletico Madrid down to the ground.

David Brooks

If David Brooks can continue the upwards trajectory he was on before his injury, he will be a fantastic player for years to come. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY READ WEST HAM.

The number 10 slot in this relegated XI goes to David Brooks.

It was an incredibly tough decision to leave out Gerard Deulofeu, as we could have played Buendia in the number 10 and the Spaniard on the wing.

The fact that Brooks missed the vast majority of 2019/10 due to injury strengthened Deulofeu’s case, yet his inconsistency paired with Brooks’ breakout campaign in 2018/19 sees the Welshman through.

At 21-years-old, Brooks played his first season in the Premier League with a new club. He scored 7 goals and got 5 assists in 30 league games.

There is no doubt that Bournemouth missed him greatly this season as they suffered for creativity for large portions.

Who should sign him?

Like Buendia, the fact that Brooks was putting up such good numbers at such a young age should mean that the majority of clubs will be sniffing around.

It is hard to know what he will look like after such a serious injury, but he could suit Arsenal if they want to sign a Mesut Ozil replacement.

Manchester United could also use him as a cheaper alternative to Jadon Sancho or Jack Grealish. However, he is quite similar in style to Bruno Fernandes and they need an out-and-out pacy right-winger rather than a technical creative player.

Ismaila Sarr

Ismailla Sarr demonstrated his immense talent in Watford’s shock 3-0 win over Liverpool. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES.

Of all the players in this relegated XI, Ismaila Sarr could well be the best.

He has been Watford’s star man since he settled into the side around November following his big-money move from Rennes last summer.

He scored five goals and assisted four more in just 22 starts for the Hornets, almost single-handedly leading their charge for survival.

Like the other two members of our striker-supporting trident, Sarr is producing great output for such a young player.

He already has 22 caps for Senegal, at just 22-years-old, proving that he has been a star of the future for a few years now.

Who should sign him?

Again, every team in Europe should be looking at Sarr.

Joining international teammate Sadio Mane at Liverpool could be a perfect fit, as he could provide cover to Mane and Mo Salah for a season or two before evolving into the main man of Liverpool’s attack.

He would also be a great pick-up for Manchester United if the Sancho deal falls through or he could replace the Englishman at Borussia Dortmund if he does move to Old Trafford.

Not many know it yet, but Ismailla Sarr is going to be a massive name very soon.

Callum Wilson

If Callum Wilson can recover his 2018/19 form he could prove to be a great pick-up by any Prem team. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY THE DAILY MAIL.

The highest scorer from the three relegated teams was Norwich’s Teemu Pukki with 11. However, the Finish striker’s last goal came in January, proving that his start to the season was merely a purple patch.

Next on the list was Troy Deeney with ten, while Callum Wilson managed eight.

None of the three are fantastic options, with Deeney probably having the best season of them.

Yet the best striker relegated from the Premier League is probably Wilson.

While Deeney and Pukki are both in their thirties, Wilson is still 28, meaning he has more years left in the tank.

Yes, he has had a bad season. But his 2018/19 form proved that he is a very useful mid-table Premier League striker.

He got 14 goals and 9 assists in the league which was a fantastic return. In fact, XG had him at 16.02 goals, which would have been better again.

Who should sign him?

Basically any lower-end to mid-table Premier League club that needs more goals.

Newcastle, Crystal Palace, Leeds, West Brom and Aston Villa could all do with him.

A younger, more innovative signing may be a better way to go for some of them, but if they want to take a more risk-free approach then Wilson is the man to go for.


Tim Krul, Craig Dawson, Jamal Lewis, Roberto Perreyra, Todd Cantwell, Gerard Deulofeu, Troy Deeney

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