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Yes nearly every year, at least one player from a relegated squad becomes a difference maker of some repute on a safe Premier League side.
So who will it be this year? Here are some candidates, though several may look to help their clubs rebound back to the top flight.
Neil Etheridge, GK, Cardiff City — The PL’s first Filipino player nearly kept the goal-starved Bluebirds in the top flight, somewhat similar to Lukasz Fabianski‘s work at Swans before moving to West Ham. Is there a spot for him somewhere in the top tier?
Philip Billing, CM, Huddersfield Town — The Swiss defensive midfielder averaged 2.7 tackles and two interceptions per game for the Terriers, and is just 22 years old.
Victor Camarasa, MF, Cardiff City — Five goals and four assists for a side that couldn’t find the back of the net shouldn’t be scoff material. At just 24, someone should take a look.
Aaron Mooy, CM, Huddersfield Town — Capable of unleashing a rocket, the former Man City pupil wasn’t as good in year two at the John Smith’s Stadium. Most weren’t.
Callum Paterson, DF, Cardiff City — Also just 24, the versatile Scot can deputize at defense, midfield, and occasionally forward for his new side.
Ryan Babel, FW, Fulham — The winger may be 32, but did he ever look quite this good on his first run through the Premier League. Five goals and three assists in 16 appearances following a mid-season transfer.
Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, MF, Fulham — He’s a bit of a card accumulator, but Fulham was better with him than without him. The 23-year-old was also outstanding at Marseille in the Ligue 1 club’s run to last season’s Europa League Final.
Aleksandar Mitrovic, FW, Fulham — He’s now scored and angered defenses on two offense-hungry clubs, and rang up 11 goals while nabbing an almost silly 6.5 aerial wins per match. He’s still only 24.