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Premier League 2019-20: Top 10 players from the relegated teams

These 10 players were the bright spots for the three relegated sides
These 10 players were the bright spots for the three relegated sides
Sachin Bhat

After what was the wackiest Premier League season in years, Bournemouth, Watford, and Norwich City were relegated from the top-flight.

The sides finished with 34, 34, and 21 points respectively after a disastrous campaign and must now contend with Championship football for at least the next 12 months.

However, not everything was doom and gloom. There were a few players in each of those teams who shone in the Premier League season and, despite the drop, some of them may even find suitors from the top-flight before the 20202/21 campaign begins.

Let's look at 10 such players.


#10 Teemu Pukki (Norwich City)

The 'Pukki party' was over just when it was gathering steam
The 'Pukki party' was over just when it was gathering steam

For a small period, Pukki emerged as the Premier League's best striker. With five goals from the opening three games, he was supposedly taking the top-flight by storm and made the Canaries one of the most exciting sides in the Premier League.

And the Finnish wasn't merely stat-padding, his strikes came against the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea, and Manchester City, coupled with a hat-trick against Newcastle United.

Like many other players in the side, his form too faded as the season progressed, but this has to be the most dramatic of them all. He went goalless in nine games after matchday five of the Premier League, and then failed to find the net again after his penalty against Spurs in January, a dry spell extending to 14 matches! And that's why, despite finishing with 11 goals, Pukki doesn't get any further than this on the list.

#9 Nathan Ake (Bournemouth)

Ake's talents, and performances this season, are very underrated
Ake's talents, and performances this season, are very underrated

Like Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne, Mohamed Salah, and many others before him, Nathan Ake too developed after stepping away from Chelsea. Perhaps not as much as the aforesaid troika, but enough to garner interest from clubs residing in the top half of the Premier League. So even though he's relegated, don't be surprised to see the Dutch star in the Premier League next season.

Fast, technically-gifted, and incredibly versatile, Ake has operated as a center-back, as a left-back, and even as a holding midfielder, as his intelligence and prolific decision-making allow him to excel in various positions without compromising on the overall output. This season, he contributed four goals, averaged over five clearances, and maintained an 87% pass success.

#8 Harry Wilson (Bournemouth)

If not Liverpool, Wilson might get a calling from another top club
If not Liverpool, Wilson might get a calling from another top club

Liverpool have had many young players on loan this season such as Harry Wilson. He came to Bournemouth at the start of the 2019/20 Premier League season for regular game-time and even starred initially, netting six times by the end of November.

No one expected him to continue in the same vein, and his form soon tapered off rather dramatically. The 23-year old found the net only once after that, but given his age and also the fact that it was his first-ever campaign in the top-flight, Wilson's numbers remain impressive, something which has now attracted interest from Leeds.

#7 Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth)

Injuries derailed Fraser's campaign, but he's a top-class player nonetheless
Injuries derailed Fraser's campaign, but he's a top-class player nonetheless

Currently without a club after refusing to pen a short-term extension, Fraser has to be the best Scottish player in the Premier League right now not named Andrew Robertson.

He couldn't anchor Bournemouth's sinking ship but possesses an enviable skill-set that could profit a mid-table side such as Crystal Palace, who're considering to bring the star on a Bosman.

A set-piece specialist with an eye for goal, his versatility allows him to play as a left-back as well as a left-winger. The undoubted asset finished the Premier League campaign with direct involvement in five goals.

Only last year, Fraser was the league's highest assist-maker after Eden Hazard, so he has the quality to shine, and at 26, is at the prime of his career.

#6 Todd Cantwell (Norwich City)

Cantwell was involved in 30% of Norwich's goals
Cantwell was involved in 30% of Norwich's goals

The only other player from the listless Norwich squad to score more than one goal, Cantwell has shown his brilliance in flashes. He has caught the attention with his fluid movements, wide range of passes, and an eye for goal, having netted six times.

The 22-year old's exudes great composure on the ball, while the fact that half of his strikes have come against Manchester City, Arsenal, and Chelsea, suggests he can step up in big games too. He's now rumored to be on Jose Mourinho's radar.

#5 Ismaila Sarr (Watford)

Sarr famously punctured Liverpool's aura of invincibility in the Premier League
Sarr famously punctured Liverpool's aura of invincibility in the Premier League

For a winger to score as many times in the Premier League as a center-back like Virgil van Dijk, despite costing a club-record Β£30 million in the summer, would mean a massive failure. However, it wasn't completely Sarr's fault either, with some mismanagement by coaches stifling his true qualities. It took until Nigel Pearson's arrival, Watford's third manager of the season, in December to liberate the Senegalese forward.

It was no coincidence then, that he struck all four of his goals this season under him, including the famous double to end Liverpool's unbeaten run in March.

Pacey, direct, and tenacious, the 22-year old had also shown flashes of brilliance against Manchester United, Southampton, and Aston Villa in the Premier League, as he possesses the ability to take apart even the meanest defenses if adequate service is provided.

#4 Callum Wilson (Bournemouth)

21 goals in two season in the Premier League isn't bad when you're playing for a side perennially flirting with relegation.
21 goals in two season in the Premier League isn't bad when you're playing for a side perennially flirting with relegation.

Wilson's never been an elite level player - the 14 goals he managed last season was the best of his career yet - and at 28, may not find many top suitors, but the centre-forward nonetheless shone for the Cherries in the Premier League, albeit in bits and parts.

He struck eight times, and also chipped in with three more assists in the Premier League, making him one of the most potent members of the squad. He too, was on a tear at the start, netting in four games straight between matchday four and seven. His quality cannot be denied whenever the side have been in full flow in the past.

#3 Gerard Deulofeu (Watford)

This was only his second full season with Watford, but Deulofeu might already be on his way out
This was only his second full season with Watford, but Deulofeu might already be on his way out

One of the best signings of the Premier League last season, Deulofeu was a star performer as the Hornets achieved an 11th position finish, the side's highest of these five years in the top-flight. Don't let the relegation mislead you into thinking he was any worse this year.

The ex-Barcelona star netted four times and made further five assists, the most prolific goal/assist output in the squad after Troy Deeney. He almost carried the side single-handedly during the first-half of the Premier League when Deeney underwent surgery but saw his own season curtailed after an unfortunate ligament rupture in March.

#2 Troy Deeney (Watford)

Deeney can expect suitors from Premier League
Deeney can expect suitors from Premier League

Watford's longest-serving player in the squad right now, this was Deeney's first relegation with the side in 10 years. He had kept the Hornets afloat in the Championship before guiding them to a promotion in 2015, after which the striker helped them stave off relegation from the Premier League on a few occasions. Just not this time.

Once again, Deeney finished as the side's top scorer with 10 goals in the Premier League despite missing a large chunk of the season's first-half with knee surgery.

Exactly half of those strikes came from the spot, but it helped Watford pick up some valuable points along the way to keep survival hopes alive right down to the wire. Now, he's supposedly on his way out of the club.

#1 Emiliano Buendia (Norwich City)

Norwich were disastrous, but Buendia must be proud of what he's achieved personally
Norwich were disastrous, but Buendia must be proud of what he's achieved personally

To have created the most number of chances in the Premier League after only Kevin De Bruyne, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jack Grealish despite playing for arguably the worst side in the division, is an enduring testament to Buendia's potential. The 23-year old was the creative chieftain for the Canaries, and also assisted in seven of the paltry 25 goals scored in total.

The goal-scoring opportunities he conjured stemmed from the Argentine's ability to carry the ball from deep areas to the attacking half, while his set-piece expertise could also be gauged from the 28 chances he created from such situations, more than any player. Buendia's talent is phenomenal and is likely to be one of the few players from plucked from the squad in the summer.

Edited by S Chowdhury

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