Top ten English players who need a transfer this summer…

Date published: Tuesday 11th June 2019 8:16

10) Callum Wilson
We described Bournemouth’s demand of £75million to sell Wilson in January as a ‘game’s gone’ moment but you can understand the Cherries’ logic. Without his goals and assists – 14 and 10 respectively – Eddie Howe’s men would have been in serious trouble, so their only option in mid-season was to put the heebie-jeebies up Chelsea and Wilson’s other suitors.

If Wilson has ambitions of taking the next step, which apparently he does, then perhaps his time is now. He will be 28 next summer – over the hill, according to most club’s recruitment criteria – and who is to say he can replicate last season’s form at the Vitality Stadium? Especially if Ryan Fraser goes. The pair were the Premier League’s most prolific for goal combinations since Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton dovetailed so effectively for Blackburn in 1994-95; and Rovers’ title-wining duo set their benchmark in a 42-game season. Fraser is a year from free agency so if Bournemouth must lose one, it will most likely be him. But there is plenty of interest too in Wilson, though Everton might only be able to stretch to £35million.

 

9) Harry Maguire
The best English centre-back warrants a Big Six stage and the rest of us want to see whether football’s biggest bonce can – as most suspect – really thrive upon it. But Maguire is in a tricky situation this summer and his own future may well be out of his hands.

Leicester simply do not need to sell – especially if they do not receive a too-good-to-refuse offer. The Foxes are perhaps just one savvy window from pushing for a top-six place of their own and with Maguire having signed a five-year deal last year after Ed Woodward baulked at paying big money for the 26-year-old, Brendan Rodgers holds most of the cards.

It may be that, if Maguire wants to take the next step in his career, he may have to force it. Manchester United and Manchester City both need a top-class centre-back, with City said to be leading the race while United cling on to their slim hopes of signing Matthijs De Ligt. If either Manchester club is prepared to pay Virgil van Dijk money, then Maguire might have to lift that massive head above the parapet and make his ambitions clear.

 

8) Eric Dier
If there’s any truth in reports that Manchester United are still keen on Dier then the England midfielder would be well advised to push to make it a reality. Because his prospects at Tottenham look rather more bleak.

A mixture of injuries and poor form have made the 25-year-old an inconsistent presence in the Spurs XI this term and on the one occasion Mauricio Pochettino could pick from a fully-fit squad, Dier found himself on the bench while Harry Winks and Moussa Sissoko lined up in midfield against Liverpool in the Champions League final.

Pochettino is also known to be keen to strengthen his midfield options this summer. If indeed Spurs are likely to get Bruno Fernandes or Tanguy Ndombele, then Dier really does need to get away so that his international career doesn’t go the same way.

 

7) Ryan Sessegnon
We would have loved to have seen Sessegnon move to Liverpool and let Jurgen Klopp get his hands on the 19-year-old. But Pochettino should be a similarly inspirational presence for Sessegnon, if indeed he does end up at Tottenham. The only thing for certain is that the England Under-21 star needs to stay in the Premier League while Fulham sink back into the Championship.

Sessegnon has already proved he can tear up the Championship. As a 17-year-old he won an unprecedented five gongs including Championship Player of the Season at the EFL Awards. He also became the first player from the second tier to the nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Season. While his first season in the Premier League did not go perhaps as he would have liked from an individual and team perspective, he still has enough credit in the bank with the big boys.

Despite his Liverpool leanings, Sessegnon is reported to have his heart set on working with Pochettino. To facilitate that move, Spurs and Fulham will have to find some middle ground in their £25million and £45million respective valuations, though it seems a remote prospect that the Cottagers would dig their heels in too stubbornly.

 

6) Danny Rose
“If I’m back at Tottenham next season, great, if I’m not – great.” Rose said this weekend. “I don’t know what the future holds now but I’m looking forward to a break.” The Spurs left-back certainly seems to need one. He admitted being ‘drained’ by the experience of being around the England squad and the chirpiness of its Liverpool representatives after the Champions League final, which was the last thing the 28-year-old needed after a testing season.

It seems a more permanent change of scene than just a holiday might suit Rose in the long run. Not a summer has passed in recent years where he hasn’t been linked with a move away and though he has played more this season than last, it remains to be seen for how long that will remain the case. Rose admits Spurs might hold his age against him, especially when Sessegnon may be on his way, while Lucas Digne has also been linked with Tottenham. The fact Pochettino needs a right-back even more urgently may be an obstacle to a move this summer but if he does stay at Spurs, we will almost certainly be having the same conversation this time next year.

 

5) Jack Butland
The England keeper stayed with Stoke upon their relegation for two reasons: firstly, out of a sense of loyalty; and secondly, because there were few offers on the table. But Butland made the best of the situation, earning Stoke’s Player of the Season award after a testing campaign back in the Championship. Now he needs to get back into the top flight, for the sake of his England place if nothing else.

A year ago, he was competing with Jordan Pickford for the No.1 spot – now he is vying for the lead stand-in role with Tom Heaton. That battle will only become more intense with Nick Pope fit again and England’s Under-21 keepers pushing for some senior involvement. Butland desperately needs to get back in the Premier League spotlight, but whether Crystal Palace or Bournemouth will pay what Stoke want for the 27-year-old with a couple of years remaining on his contract, remains to be seen. If indeed they are asking for around £23million, it is not an unreasonable demand.

 

4) Isaac Hayden
The Newcastle midfielder is the driving force behind a likely move this summer. Rafael Benitez – should he decide to stay at Newcastle – would relish retaining the services of the central midfielder who became a pivotal presence in the Magpies’ XI after Christmas and their improvement in the New Year was no coincidence.

But there is little even Rafa can do about geography. Hayden has made it clear for a year that he needs to move south for personal reasons: “It’s not what is best for me or my family to be playing here next season and to be doing the travelling I have done this season,” he said prior to Newcastle’s last home game of the season, when the Toon Army made one last attempt to change his mind. But Hayden wants to go, with a return to Arsenal mooted, while Norwich and Brighton have also been linked. At least Newcastle should make a hefty profit on the £2.6million they paid the Gunners three years ago, with Hayden expected to fetch around £15-20million.

 

3) Joe Hart
No one, certainly not Hart himself, saw the former England No.1’s career nosediving like this after Pep Guardiola ruthlessly removed him from the Man City sticks. Being bombed by Guardiola is one thing; being dropped by David Moyes at West Ham and Sean Dyche at Burnley in successive seasons is rather harder to explain away.

Hart didn’t seem to perform too badly for Burnley after signing last summer amid a goalkeeping injury crisis at Turf Moor. Even though they were in the bottom three by the midpoint of the season having lost 13 of 19 games and conceded three or more goals in eight of those losses, the blame was not necessarily attributed to Hart. But it can’t be a complete coincidence that upon Tom Heaton’s return, Burnley went eight without defeat during a run in which the club captain conceded 0.875 goals per game. In Hart’s 19 matches, Burnley conceded an average of 2.15 goals per game.

To make matters worse, Nick Pope is also fit again and fresh from signing a new contract. So it is difficult to see where Hart goes from here. Moving abroad again would be rather more soothing for his ego than dropping into the Championship but it seems certain that the 75-cap ex-England star is finished in the Premier League for now.

 

2) Kieran Trippier
Few players have ever seen their stock fall in a single season quite as dramatically as Trippier. Last summer, the England right-back was arguably the Three Lions’ stand-out performer in a crowded field at the World Cup and being linked with Real Madrid. Less than a year later, Gareth Southgate dropped him from England’s squad entirely for the Nations League, with Trippier the odd man out while Kyle Walker and Trent Alexander-Arnold went to Portugal.

His immediate future at club level appears similarly bleak. Among all the room for improvement at Spurs this summer, the right-back area is the position ripe for the biggest upgrade. Only Christian Eriksen misplaced more passes last season while defensively, Pochettino admitted Trippier had to improve. Given he will be 29 a month after the new season kicks off, the chances of that seem slim.

If it was up to him, Trippier would rather stay in the Premier League. But with Napoli and Atletico Madrid said to be interested, it might be time for the Bury-born defender to broaden his horizons.

 

1) Fabian Delph
The Manchester City midfielder started for England in their Nations League semi-final last Thursday evening and though he was busy, his performance in possession offered a hint as to why Pep Guardiola didn’t start him in the Premier League after Boxing Day, when he was sent off in a 2-1 defeat at Leicester. Delph started three of City’s four defeats and after his dismissal at the King Power Stadium, he was seen for only 10 more minutes in the Premier League and only twice made the bench during the second half of the season.

The prospects of the utility man, who will be 30 in November, are not going to improve at City, who will surely look to sell before he reaches the end of his contract next summer. Reports suggest the Treble winners will demand around £15million and natural leader and good egg Delph will be a savvy addition for any club underneath the Big Six. On the pitch he has plenty to offer too. Just no longer at a club with eyes on conquering Europe in addition to domestic dominance.

 

Ian Watson

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