12 relegated players who deserve a move this summer

Every year, when a team gets relegated there is always at least one stand out performer and that’s what I’m looking at in this article.

Neil Etheridge

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The Cardiff stopper was recently awarded The Bluebirds player of the year award and it’s no surprise as to why. The former Walsall goalkeeper displayed himself as an excellent shot stopper over the course of the season saving the 2nd most shots this season, only behind Lukasz Fabianski. Etheridge also showed his penalty saving talents early on when he saved penalties against Bournemouth and Newcastle in his first two games. That being said, I feel Bournemouth could do a lot worse than signing Etheridge as could Crystal Palace with Guaita and Hennessey both being the wrong side of 30.

Jean-Michael Seri

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Keeping with the Premier League theme is Fulham’s Jean Michael Seri. The Ivorian didn’t live up to standards in his first season in the English top flight but he still showcased what a great player he could be scoring a screamer against Burnley and putting in great performances against Brighton and Watford. This being said it would suit the player if he returned to the league where he made his name – Ligue 1, with Monaco most likely to sign the midfielder.

Aleksandar Mitrovic

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Our final Premier League player on this list is former Newcastle striker Aleksandar Mitrovic. Despite a drop of form in the second half of the season Mitrovic managed 11 league goals, the 8th best for a striker in the bottom half of the table, this showing he is far better than Championship football in 2020. With Michy Batshuayi returning to Chelsea and Benteke struggling for goals, I reckon Crystal Palace should make an effort to sign the Serbian.

Marcus Thuram

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Son of World Cup winner Lillian Thuram, Marcus has been a bright light in EA Guingamp’s rather dreary season. The winger/striker scored 9 league goals as Guingamp finished bottom of Ligue 1. Due to the fact this relegation will have a cut-price effect on the 21 year-‘ old’s value adding on to his contract expiring next summer Thuram will be perfect for a club such as Tottenham who seek bargains.

Enzo Loiodice

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This is a strange one as although Dijon (Enzo’s club) are not officially relegated from Ligue 1 there is a massive chance they will be with only a two legged tie against Lens who have won 4 of their last 5 games. Enzo Loiodice is an 18 year-old central midfielder with great technique, vision and ball retention among many other skills. The player who is currently playing in the u-2os World Cup for France has started 10 games for Dijon and appeared in 2 more as a sub. With it seeming near certain atleast two of Ndombele, Aouar and Fekir leaving Lyon this summer Loiodice would be a great addition looking to the future.

Christhian Stuani

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The former Middlesbrough striker exceeded expectations by an absolute mile in the La Liga this season scoring 19 goals for Girona, the 5th most in the league. The 32 year old Uruguay international also got his name in the Spanish team of the season despite Girona being relegated to La Liga 2. These stats make him perfect for a team looking for a stopgap cheap back-up striker. The reasoning behind Barcelona’s interest.

Ludovic Blas

The second Guingamp player on this last is Ludovic Blas, the talented 21 year-old was a mainstay in Guingamp’s team this season making 40 appearances for the French side. His fantastic strike put the spotlight back on the midfielder who possesses fantastic dribbling, vision and concentration. Staying in his home country and signing for a better Ligue 1 side would be a smart decision, OGC Nice would be in desperate need for an attacking talent if Allan Saint-Maxim does complete a move to the Premier League.

Andrew Nelson

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Despite only signing for Dundee this winter Andrew Nelson showed his potential straight away getting 6 goal contributions in 701 minutes, one every 116 minutes for the worst team in the league, which is highly impressive. Nelson displayed that he is way above Scottish Championship standard this side of Christmas. This form should have earned him a move to at least a top 8 team in Scotland. With Motherwell’s Curtis Main joining Aberdeen and Hibs’ Marc McNulty returning to Reading, Hibs and Motherwell would be Nelson’s most realistic destinations.

Ertugrul Esroy

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Ertugrul Esroy is a 22 year-old Turkish centre back who plays for and captains Bursaspor. As the captain of his boyhood club Esroy won’t be in a rush to leave but that is no indication that he couldn’t cut it in mainland Europe. With Boyata leaving Celtic for Hertha Berlin, Esroy could be a perfect replacement with his passion, positioning and ability to read the game.

Pedro Rebocho

The third and final Guingamp player in this list is left back Pedro Rebocho. Rebocho has also shone at the Ligue 1 strugglers. Rebocho has turned into some sort of assist king this season with 8 in the league, only bettered by 5 other left backs in Europe. The former Benfica full-backs price-tag was set at £3.5m but that is likely to reduce with EAG’s relegation. There is Premier League interest though as Watford and Leicester are interested in him.

Pablo Maffeo

Playing on loan for Girona in La Liga the, at the time, Man City full back looked a new man which forced Stuttgart to pay a club record £8.8m for him but this backfired horribly with Maffeo playing only 8 games for the club who are sitting 16th. Just like Enzo Lociodice, Maffeo isn’t offcially relegated just yet but his fate is decided tomorrow when Stuttgart face Union Berlin. If Stuttgart go down I would be less than surprised if the Spaniard left the club. His most likely destination back to La Liga.

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Where Did It All Go Wrong For Scottish Football?

069D47A1-11B5-42E3-A2C6-CB2AC87DE0C9Lets look back a few years, Players like Paul Gascoigne, Brian Laudrup and Henrik Larsson were playing in Scotland in their prime. Rangers and Celtic both getting to the UEFA Cup Final in 2003 and 2008 Respectively. Now in 2019, the bottom half of the top tier in scotland will most likely not be able to compete with some teams in the English League 1. Where exactly did it go wrong for Scottish football?

The main reason for the downfall in the Scottish game is money. With big broadcast companies unwilling to put a big sum of money into scottish football due to the lack of quality in some teams, Scotland are quickly falling away from the ‘Big Leagues’, who are gaining at least 6 figure sums a year through TV deals. This causes them to spend money on quality and widen the gap between them and leagues like Scotland, Switzerland, Denmark and Belgium.

Another big reason for the downfall is the Liquidation of Rangers in 2012. When Rangers got relegated down to the 4th tier Almost all scottish football fans were laughing and joking about it, some still today. But little did they know at the time that it would cause debatably the worst period in scottish football history, sometimes known as ‘The banter years’. During the time of Rangers absence in the top tier, they lost their 2nd Champions League spot and became the laughing stock of british football. They also missed out on a lot of TV money due to the lack of old firm derby’s, which is the main income of the scottish game. Celtic also ran the league every year for the past 8 seasons due to the lack of competitiveness at the top of the table for most of the 8 seasons and have been the only scottish team to make the group stages of a european tournament until the season past where Rangers made the group stages and narrowly missed out on the knockout rounds.

In order for the Scottish premiership to get better as a league, they need to improve both on and off the park. In my opinion, scotland should follow the Dutch eredivise in the clubs qualifying for the european competitions giving 5% of the prize money to the clubs who didn’t qualify. I think that is a brilliant idea and will help the lower teams be able to keep up with the top 6 and make the league more competitive and enjoyable to watch, thus making the TV companies wanting to invest more money into the scottish game. The scottish league is certainly going in the right direction right now but will they be able to keep up with the big leagues in the near future? Only time will tell.

Why Celtic don’t need to buy a Scott Sinclair replacement.

When Scott Sinclair arrived in Glasgow in 2016 he became an instant hit with the Celtic fans scoring the winner in a 2-1 win on the opening day against Hearts. On the exact same day he was announced. Over the course of his first season at Celtic Park Sinclair continued to transform into some what of a hero scoring 21 league goals and laying on another 7 adding on to numerous G+A in the domestic cups. 

But now we are approaching the third season since the former Man City winger had his elementary season with the Scottish League Champions and his love from the Celtic fans is fading away as he now plays second fiddle to Johnny Hayes, a 31 year old Irish winger.

Due to a clause in Sinclair’s contract, Scott is now being paid £40k to warm the bench at Parkhead, meaning, albeit it isn’t his fault, he has fell even further down Celtic fans affection list.  This contract means that on what looks like his final year at Celtic, he will be being paid the largest wage in the whole of Scottish football. Something that won’t look attractive on Celtic’s wage bill. 

Scott Sinclair’s decadence has not been something that’s been difficult to spot after his debut year. Turning from a 20+ goal winger who strikes fear into the hearts of every teams full back and their fans to being a player that brings relief when seeing his name on the Celtic team sheet.

At Celtic, wingers have in recent history, never been a position where they are short of. As under contract right now the club have 7 (seven) first team wingers, excluding Oli Burke who has just returned to West Brom from his hardly impressive loan spell. This is the reason why Celtic should not look for a ‘Sinclair replacement’. 

The main player who should be seen as Sinclair’s successor is Michael Johnston, a 20 year old Scottish left midfielder who has scored 5 goals in 7 starts this year, only one less than this seasons Young Player of The Year and Team of The Season left midfielder Ryan Kent – who made 18 more starts. Johnston also averaged goal every 136 minutes over the course of the season. 

In January, Celtic recruited another winger, Maryan Shved from Ukrainian side Karpaty Lviv. Although the standard may not translate from Ukraine to Scotland the attacker is quite evidently talented. Scoring 14 in 24 with his side in Ukraine and contributing to 3 assists. 

This Sunday, coincidentally in a 2-1 win against Hearts, 16 year old wonder-kid, born in 2003, Karamoko Dembele made his first team debut for Celtic becoming the youngest ever player to have played for Celtic. The talent played a 30 minute cameo and showed signs that he has the talent people are raving about. If implemented correctly Karamoko could be a Sinclair replacement for years to come, free of charge. 

Another upside of not buying a replacement winger is that the staggering £40,000 Celtic pay Sinclair may be added to improving areas that are more barren, perhaps a Boyata replacement due to the defender heading to the Bundesliga or finally a new right back.