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Bargain buys: Relegated players for Premier League clubs to target

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This season, it was Ben Foster arriving at Watford from West Brom and Xherdan Shaqiri switching from Stoke City to Liverpool.

Before that, it was Harry Maguire from Hull City to Leicester, and Jordan Pickford from Sunderland to Everton. Idrissa Gana Gueye from Aston Villa to Everton before that.

[ MORE: Terriers release Williams, Lossl ]

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.

Manchester United reaches out to Fulham over Sessegnon

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Shots fired in the battle to secure rumor mill magnet Ryan Sessegnon.

The Fulham talent turns 19 on Saturday, and doesn’t want to spend the last year of his teens in the Championship.

[ MORE: Transfer rumor roundup ]

Sessegnon played 35 matches in his first Premier League season, scoring twice and adding six assists in just under 2300 minutes.

That’s not bad, though perhaps not to expectations given he punched home 16 goals with eight assists in the Championship last season.

Sessegnon has made 120 first team appearances for Fulham at his tender age, and has been linked with Tottenham Hotspur, Juventus, Manchester United, Liverpool, and Chelsea amongst others during his brief career.

A new report says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and United are the team leaping to the front of the line, preparing an early bid to bring Sessegnon to Old Trafford.

Sessegnon can play anywhere up the right and left side of the pitch, though he’s been most utilized on the left in his career. Only 10 of his appearances have come on the right, many of those as a wing opposite Ryan Babel this season.

Biggest flops of the Premier League season

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We’ll try not to be too harsh as our review of the Premier League season continues with the most disappointing performances of 2018-19.

[ SEASON REVIEW: Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal ]

[ SEASON REVIEW: Man United, Wolves, Everton, Leicester, West Ham ]


— Fulham — You can’t pin it on any single manager, nor a single transfer flop. There was just something around Craven Cottage that didn’t allow the men to mesh on the big stage. Andre Schurrle petered out, Alfie Mawson stumbled when healthy, Jean-Michael Seri wasn’t as advertised, and Claudio Ranieri couldn’t summon any saviors after Slavisa Jokanovic also failed to find the right chemistry.

— Max Meyer, Crystal Palace — The 23-year-old just couldn’t quite adapt after being hailed by many including us as a remarkable free transfer from Schalke.

— Gonzalo Higuain, Chelsea — Part of this blame lives with us: The expectation that came with Maurizio Sarri‘s favored man arriving to make good on the failures of Alvaro Morata was too high; Higuain finished with five goals in 1100 minutes.

— Mohamed Elyounoussi, Southampton — Maybe his Premier League adjustment will come in Season Two, but zero goals and plenty of days outside the Saints’ 18 hardly make for good value.

Fred, Manchester United — Cost the Red Devils about $3.5 million per league appearance. Shoulder shrug emoji, as Pep Guardiola also reportedly viewed the Brazilian as a fix for his midfield.

— David De Gea, Manchester United — While not a new signing, the Red Devils’ perennial savior was not close to his standards in 2018-19. In fact, the Spaniard was basically league average and couldn’t bail out his defenders (which underscores Jose Mourinho’s assertion regarding their quality).

Final Premier League standings of the 2018-19 season

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Feast your eyes upon the final Premier League table of the 2018-19 season, in which:

  • Manchester City are champions with 98 points;
  • Liverpool finish second on 97 points, the third-highest total in history;
  • Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur backed into third and fourth place, respectively;
  • Arsenal and Manchester United missed out on Champions League qualification;
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers finished seventh in their first season back in the top flight
  • Fulham and Cardiff City head back down to the EFL Championship after one season;
  • Huddersfield Town finish bottom and head back down after two seasons in the PL
Team GP W D L GF GA GD PTS
 Manchester City 38 32 2 4 95 23 72 98
 Liverpool 38 30 7 1 89 22 67 97
 Chelsea 38 21 9 8 63 39 24 72
 Tottenham Hotspur 38 23 2 13 67 39 28 71
 Arsenal 38 21 7 10 73 51 22 70
 Manchester United 38 19 9 10 65 54 11 66
 Wolves 38 16 9 13 47 46 1 57
 Everton 38 15 9 14 54 46 8 54
 Leicester City 38 15 7 16 51 48 3 52
 West Ham United 38 15 7 16 52 55 -3 52
 Watford 38 14 8 16 52 59 -7 50
 Crystal Palace 38 14 7 17 51 53 -2 49
 Newcastle United 38 12 9 17 42 48 -6 45
 Bournemouth 38 13 6 19 56 70 -14 45
 Burnley 38 11 7 20 45 68 -23 40
 Southampton 38 9 12 17 45 65 -20 39
 Brighton 38 9 9 20 35 60 -25 36

 Cardiff City 38 . 10 . 4 . 24 . 34 . 69 . -35 . 34
 Fulham 38 7 5 26 34 81 -47 26
 Huddersfield Town 38 3 7 28 22 76 -54 16

Early double sparks Magpies rout of Fulham (video)

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Fulham will head to the Championship on a sour note, while Rafa Benitez has something to cling to in contract talks with the club as Newcastle wins 4-0 at Craven Cottage to wrap up the Premier League campaign. Jonjo Shelvey‘s stunner opened things up with Ayoze Perez following up, and Fabian Schar sealed the deal in the second half, with an exclamation mark from Solomon Rondon.

The game opened up immediately and Newcastle scored inside the opening 10 minutes, on a brilliant strike from Jonjo Shelvey. A looping volley from the top-right corner of the box found the opposite corner, a highlight-reel goal on the final day of the season.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Newcastle bagged the second just two minutes later with Perez bundling home to double the lead. Sergio Rico couldn’t handle an initial shot from Christian Atsu, and Perez was first to reach the rebound.

Fulham held a significant amount of possession through the first half, but couldn’t do much with it. Newcastle, meanwhile, made the most of its touches, nearly finding a third before the break with Rico nervously palming away a corner which looked destined to find the back of the net.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The Whites looked better after the break, but Newcastle held at the back amid a few corners to defend. The Magpies went further ahead on the hour mark with Fabian Schar getting wide open on a corner and bagging a header to make it 3-0. The game ended in open end-to-end fashion and the Magpies got a fourth as Rico again couldn’t collect at the post and Rondon finished from an absurdly tight angle with stoppage time beckoning.

The Whites finish the season in 19th on 26 points, a massively disappointing result given their summer spending spree. Newcastle will cling to 13th on 45 points, and hope that the punctuating result can help convince their Spanish boss to stay.