It’s likely to be an emotional weekend for James Ward-Prowse, Roberto Firmino and the rest of this XI as they take to the field in the Premier League for the last time with their current clubs.
GK: David Raya – Brentford
David De Gea and Lukasz Fabianski are the only two first-choice keepers that are out of contract this summer but both, we suspect, will end up staying at Manchester United and West Ham. Raya is a year from free agency but the Bees keeper is resisting all efforts by the club to tie him down to a renewal, with plenty of admirers sniffing around the Spain stopper, including Chelsea and Tottenham.
RB: Vladimir Coufal – West Ham
Coufal could call time on his Premier League career with West Ham on Sunday when the Hammers go to Leicester. There is the Europa Conference final, of course, but the 30-year-old’s contract is almost up and there is little sign of a renewal, with no talks having yet taken place. Serge Aurier could also feature for Forest for the final time but it seems likely that the Frenchman will be asked to stay after a hugely successful season at the City Ground.
CB: Harry Maguire – Manchester United
The Manchester United captain is likely to feature against Fulham on Sunday only because, ahead of the FA Cup final, Erik ten Hag wants his first-choice defenders fit. And ahead of Maguire, if they were all available, there would be Lisandro Martinez, Raphael Varane and Luke Shaw. Then another, possibly Kim Min-jae, when Ten Hag adds the centre-back he wants this summer. So Maguire finds himself at a crossroads: go resurrect his career; or stay and play even less. He’ll likely be encouraged to take the first option, probably making this the last time he leads out the Red Devils.
CB: Yerry Mina – Everton
It’s hard to argue that Everton aren’t a better side with Mina in it but the Toffees are yet to offer the Colombia international a contract beyond the end of next month. Perhaps they are waiting to see which division they will be playing in – Mina has no intention of dropping into the Championship and the Toffees won’t pay his £120,000 in the second tier. But even if they stay up, it seems likely that Goodison will be waving off the the 28-year-old after their must-win clash with Bournemouth.
LB: Kieran Tierney – Arsenal
Not long ago, the Scotland left-back was viewed as one of the leaders in the Arsenal dressing room, taking the armband regularly. Now it seems he doesn’t fit into Mikel Arteta’s plans – but he features heavily in Eddie Howe’s. There has been talk for months around Newcastle’s interest in Tierney, with some reports suggesting a deal between the Magpies and the player has already been agreed. Now they just have to agree on a fee, likely to be between £35million and £40million, once Tierney has waved goodbye to the Emirates crowd on Sunday.
CM: James Ward-Prowse – Southampton
If it wasn’t for Ward-Prowse, many Southampton fans might have made an early dart before the lap of appreciation following Sunday’s clash with Liverpool, their last as a Premier League club for a while. But Ward-Prowse deserves a rousing send off after a stellar 11-and-a-half-year career in Saints midfield. Where next?
CM: Youri Tielemans – Leicester
It feels like Tielemans’ contract at Leicester has taken an age to wind down, with the Belgian’s terms being talked about for the last two years amid intense interest from elsewhere. Arsenal were most heavily linked but the Gunners chose to wait and they could still rekindle their interest in the midfielder, who will be hoping to leave Leicester as a Premier League club after their clash with West Ham.
RW: Adama Traore – Wolves
There was a time when there would be a queue that snaked all the way around Molineux for Traore if he was going free. Not so much now, but surely the Wolves speedster is worth a punt? Wolves have offered him a new deal, but apparently worth less than one he turned down two years ago. Traore said goodbye to the home fans last week by laying on a goal against Everton. His final outing in old gold will be at Arsenal.
CAM: Ilkay Gundogan – Manchester City
If Gundogan is on his way – and it’s not certain he will be – then lifting three trophies isn’t a bad way to bow out. He could be Arsenal-bound, not that Didi Hamaann reckons he’ll do much for the Gunners. “He’s been average for Germany… he won’t make a difference in Arsenal winning the Premier League next year.”
LW: Wilfried Zaha – Crystal Palace
Zaha might be waving goodbye to Selhurst Park when Forest show up on the final day, or Palace fans could use it as one last chance to shower him with love and persuade him to stay. There’s a big fat contract on the table – Zaha just has to decide between that or his long-held ambition of European football. Either way, he deserves an ovation from the Eagles.
CF: Roberto Firmino – Liverpool
Firmino’s farewell seems to have been going on for most of May, which highlights the significance of his impact on the club since signing for Brendan Rodgers in 2015. Last weekend belonged to the Brazilian, who scored a late equaliser against Villa on Saturday before his goodbye bash on Sunday. This weekend, he’ll wave goodbye for one last time to the Liverpool fans making the trek to Southampton.