Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Hull City – these three top tier outfits can be confirmed as relegated to Championship prior to penultimate gameweek of Premier League football.
The Black Cats had a disastrous campaign where they failed to build up any resilience under David Moyes; newly promoted Boro lost their momentum despite a decent start and never managed to upturn their season; Hull City, however, were unlucky as they produced a predominant show under newly appointed Portuguese boss Marco Silva, yet the Tigers failed to retain their top flight status following two back to back defeats.
But a number of players (loanees excluded) from these three sides have drawn attention with their impressive display and are now being monitored by several top flight Premier League sides prior to upcoming campaign.
Jordan Pickford (Goalkeeper)
The 23- year old English custodian started as understudy of Vito Mannone, but he later cemented his place between the sticks and delivered a number of stellar performances for the Black Cats. As per latest reports, Everton are confident of completing a £17m deal for Pickford amidst interest from Manchester City.
Ben Gibson (Centre-back)
Gibson was rewarded for his fine form at Boro and earned his first call-up for England senior squad against Lithuania. He is now being monitored by a host of top Premier League outfits including Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal as per several outlets.
Harry Maguire (Centre-back)
The 24-year old Englishman refused to extend his contract and unlikely to stay with the Tigers following their relegation. Newly promoted Newcastle United are favourites to sign him. Also, the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Everton have reportedly shown interest in the Hull centre-back.
Jan Kirchhoff (Centre-back / Defensive Midfielder)
The former Bayern Munich centre-back joined the Black Cats midway during previous campaign and influenced them to retain their top flight status. Kirchhoff, who is also capable of playing as a defensive midfielder, missed the majority of this campaign due to significant injury concerns and could not help his side to constitute another ‘great escape’. He, however, is not yet linked with any Premier League outfit, but might end up with newly promoted sides or return to his homeland.
Andrew Robertson (Left-back / Left Wingback)
The Scottish international has been heavily linked with Liverpool since January and closely monitored by Reds boss Jurgen Klopp due to his defensive abilities and attacking intent down the left hand flank.
Kamil Grosicki (Right Midfielder/ Right Wingback/ Right Winger)
The Polish international settled in well since his winter deadline day move to Hull City from Rennes and soon impressed the gaffer with his work ethics, skills and experience. He deserved more time in Premier League football but might end up continuing for the Tigers in Championship.
Tom Huddlestone ( Central Midfielder/ Central Defensive Midfielder)
A Premier League veteran who possesses all the attributes of a crucial midfield player. He is combative, holds great sense of passing, tackling and shooting. Also, controls the game from the middle of the park with his box to box movements. The Englishman Might attract interests from newly promoted outfits, but is expected to end up with his current employers.
Marten De Roon (Central Midfielder/ Central Defensive Midfielder)
The Dutch international was signed from Atalanta last year and earned high praise for his vision, goal-scoring ability and box to box movements. Several Premier League clubs have shown interest in the Middlesbrough midfielder – Bournemouth, Watford, Southampton and Everton are believed to be front-runners.
Adama Traore ( Right Winger)
The 21-year old former Barcelona youngster has now suffered back to back relegations with Aston Villa and Middlesbrough but received high applauds due to his physicality, pace, dribbling and power. He is still young and needs improvement in his decision-making, but the Spaniard holds firm interest from several top flight outfits including league Champions Chelsea.
Viktor Fischer (Left Winger)
The Danish youngster had a successful spell with Ajax in Eredivise prior to his move to Middlesbrough in order to experience Premier League football. But the youngster struggled to settle in new circumstances and missed several months due to injury concerns. There is no concrete rumor yet, but the Danish international is not expected to play in Championship next season what might be a step back for the promising prodigy.
Jermain Defoe ( Striker)
The 34-year old veteran earned his first England call up after four years following his stellar show with the Black Cats and marked his return with a goal against Lithuania. He uplifted his side during previous campaign baking on his great scoring run thus saved relegation. Defoe, however, continued his scoring form this year as well but failed to retain Sunderland’s top flight status. As per several outlets, Bournemouth, West Ham, West Brom and Crystal Palace all have expressed their desire to sign the English international.