Whenever a team gets relegated, it not only needs to play in a lower division, but also ends up losing all its best players. In this 3-part series, I present the players from the 3 relegated teams (Blackburn, Bolton and Wolves) who I think could be good signings for the other Premier League clubs.
Let’s start off with Blackburn in the first part. So, which of Blackburn’s players could end up playing in the Premier League next year?
The Swedish left-back Martin Olsson, has established himself as Rovers’ first-choice left-back in recent times. Olsson, whose twin Marcus plays for Blackburn too, will also be seen in the Euro 2012 later this month. Olsson is an attack-minded full-back who can also play as a winger. His main strength is his pace, which he uses to good effect for both defence and attack (he is a decent dribbler as well). However, these attacking instincts can sometimes leave a hole in the team’s defence.
With the dearth of quality left-footed left-backs in the Premier League and the added exposure he will get in the Euros, I expect Olsson to get a lot of interest this summer.
Suitable for: Chelsea, West Ham, West Brom, Stoke City, Newcastle
David “Junior” Hoilett
The next player on the list is the one whose contract is just about to end. Striker David Hoilett, more often known as ‘Junior’ Hoilett, had an excellent season at Blackburn and I’m sure we’ll see a lot of clubs queueing up for him. The problem with Hoilett is that he is incredibly selfish. You can always expect him to shoot instead of passing to a player in a better position. But, there’s no doubt that this 22-year old has decent pace and dribbling skills in addition to his tremendous confidence in himself.
Suitable for: Aston Villa, Tottenham, Wigan, Norwich
If you’re a Premier League club looking for a proven top-division goalkeeper, you need look no further than Blackburn’s captain Paul Robinson. Robinson is an excellent shot-stopper even though he can be a bit error-prone sometimes. But, for me, the former Leeds and Tottenham man is definitely a keeper worth signing as his experience (he has played more than 450 games so far including 41 for England) should be invaluable for any team that buys him.
Suitable for: West Brom, Chelsea
A year ago, Dann was seen as a future England international after a brilliant season with Birmingham, where he formed a superb defensive partnership with Roger Johnson. However, Birmingham got relegated and Dann moved to Blackburn. Though this season hasn’t been as good as the last one and the England call up hasn’t come yet, the ex-Walsall man is only 25 and should get his chance if he plays to his potential.
The 6’ 2” defender is excellent in the air and though successive relegations with two different clubs would’ve been tough to take, Dann, in my opinion, is an investment worth making for any mid-level Premier league club.
Morten Gamst Pedersen
Pedersen has been so good for Blackburn over the years that with every transfer window, I expected him to depart. But he’s still here, having made 260 league appearances since joining the club eight years ago in 2004 and apparently intends to stay on at Rovers despite the relegation. However, if he does decide to leave, he will definitely find some takers in the top division.
The Norwegian international winger is a set-piece specialist and is as good taking corners as free kicks. Pedersen also has a very decent long throw in his locker.
Suitable for: Stoke City, Fulham, Everton
N’Zonzi, a former French under-21 international, is a defensive midfielder. At 23, he is seen as a prospect for the French national team. He is a tough tackler and has caught the eye playing in front of the back four for Rovers this season. N’Zonzi has apparently been scouted by Chelsea and Arsenal as well as Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala and will no doubt have plenty of offers in the summer. He could well be the person who makes Blackburn the most amount of money if he is sold.
Suitable for: Arsenal, Fulham, Everton, Aston Villa
One and a half years ago, Yakubu was struggling so much that he was loaned out to the Championship side Leicester by his then club Everton. Even though he got 11 league goals for Leicester from 20 Championship games, not many people expected him to make much of an impact in the Premier League again when he signed with the Riversiders. But, he has certainly made an impact this season, being the club’s top scorer with 17 league goals. Yakubu is a player who uses his strength to hold up the ball and bring other players into the game besides his obvious goal scoring ability.
Suitable for: Fulham, West Brom, Wigan, Aston Villa.
Stay tuned for Part 2. Coming shortly!