Aleksandar Mitrović scores multiple stunning goals for Fulham
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The end of the 2020/21 Premier League season saw Sheffield United, West Brom and Fulham slip through the relegation trap door. Sam Allardyce has already departed from the Baggies with Slavisa Jokanovic appointed as Chris Wilder’s successor.
Changes in managers are on the cards for all three relegated sides with Scott Parker potentially moving on from Craven Cottage if he receives a top-flight offer.
However, it will not just be bosses moving around this summer, as Premier League sides come sniffing around for bargains in the Championship.
Express Sport takes a look at the ‘best XI’ options from the three relegated sides ahead of the start of the 2021/22 campaign.
GK: AARON RAMSDALE
Ramsdale returned to United following relegation with Bournemouth in 2020 but he has found himself on the wrong end of the drop zone once again.
Despite the Blades bowing out of the Premier League, Ramsdale’s solid form was rewarded with a place in Gareth Southgate’s provisional 33-man England squad for Euro 2020.
Ironically the player he replaced in Southgate’s plans – Nick Pope – could have a decisive role in Ramsdale’s future this summer, with Sean Dyche tracking him as a replacement if Pope moves on.
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DF: ENDA STEVENS
The early signs point to Jokanovic reverting to a 4-3-3 system at United which could spell the end for their flying wing-backs.
Republic of Ireland international was key for United in 2019/20 but his form tailed off last season.
If Jokanovic is unable to find a place for him, the former Portsmouth could be an experienced squad option for around £3m.
DF: JOACHIM ANDERSON
Despite not technically being a Fulham player in 2020/21, Parker had high hopes of retaining the Danish international if they had stayed in the top-flight.
Parent club Lyon are open to selling him this summer after some impressive displays at the heart of the Cottagers defence.
Tottenham are the frontrunners to be linked with the 24-year-old, with a potential £25m deal, but Spurs are likely to wait until a new manager is appointed before making any transfer moves.
DF: TOSIN ADARABIOYO
Whilst Parker will have no control over Anderson’s future he will fight to keep hold of his centre back partner Adarabioyo.
The former Manchester City man was a regular alongside Anderson and cut a composed figure at the back despite Fulham’s relegation.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is rumoured to be leaning on their City connection to broker a deal as he seeks a replacement for David Luiz.
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MF: JOHN LUNDSTRAM
Lundstrum established himself as a Fantasy Football cult hero during the Blades Premier League return in 2019/20.
However, injuries restricted him to 23 league starts last season, and he appears certain to leave when his contract expires next month.
Despite struggling for consistency in recent months, he would be a valuable squad addition, with Steven Gerrard rumoured to be considering a move to bring him to Rangers.
MF: SANDER BERGE
Berge opted to reject interest from Liverpool in 2019 to join United in a club record £22m deal from Belgian club Genk.
But despite appearing to be a major coup for Wilder, the Norwegian international was unable to save them from the drop, despite some eye-catching performances last season.
Arsenal have been heavily linked with a move, with speculation heightened after he was snapped out for dinner with Gunners loanee Martin Odegaard, but Liverpool could reignite their interest if they fail to secure a deal for Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans.
MF: CONOR GALLAGHER
Gallagher is another loan player set to depart a relegated club as his West Brom deal expires and he heads back to Chelsea.
Despite being highly-rated by the club, his first-team path is blocked by a string of international stars, and Thomas Tuchel could facilitate another loan exit.
The England U21 is rumoured to be attracting interest from West Ham and Newcastle over a loan move.
MF: CALLUM ROBINSON
Robinson showed sporadic signs of being able to cut at Premier League level after joining West Brom on a permanent deal last summer.
Despite scoring just five top-flight goals in 2020/21, his all-action style caught the eye and he will want to stay in the top tier.
Leicester City are rumoured to be looking at him as Brendan Rodgers aims to expand his squad options.
FW: ADEMOLA LOOKMAN
Despite finishing above West Brom and United, Fulham look the least likely to be able to hold onto their star names if the big boys come calling.
With Anderson and Adarabioyo key for Parker in defence, former Everton winger Lookman was the star man in attack with four goals and four assists on loan from RB Leipzig.
His long-term future in Germany looks unclear and Arsenal and Leicester are monitoring him ahead of a possible £15m bid.
FW: ALEKSANDAR MITROVIC
Serbian frontman Mitrovic managed just three league goals on his return to the Premier League last season.
However, his impressive form on international duty has shown he still has a sharp instinct in front of goals in the right environment.
Jokanovic has been linked with an offer to bring him to Bramall Lane but he will be eyeing another crack at the Premier League if Fulham need to reduce their wage bill.
FW: MATHEUS PEREIRA
Pereira’s goals in the final weeks of the season almost sparked a revival for Allardyce’s side.
The Brazilian ended the campaign with 11 league goals, more than any other player for a relegated side, but that form has attracted attention.
The Baggies are in a strong negotiating position due his long-term contract, with Aston Villa and Leeds United circling, and they could demand £15m to begin talks.
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