Top 10 relegation bargain buys
Going down… in price at least
1. Michael Owen
The ultimate bargain buy. He always looked likely to leave Newcastle at the end of the season, and he definitely will now. Don’t believe the talk that he is past it – if he manages an injury-free pre-season and is playing in a decent side, he will still score goals.
Who might want him? Manchester City, Everton and Aston Villa.
2. Sanli Tuncay
The Turkish international took time to settle in English football, but has been Middlesbrough’s most consistent performer this season. He has been a class act despite playing in a poor team and is bound to return to top-flight football very quickly.
Who might want him? Fulham or any other mid-table outfits wanting to kick-on to the next level.
3. Sebastien Bassong
It is hard to put yourself in the shop window while playing in Newcastle’s defence, but the Frenchman has had a decent first season in English football. He has also confirmed that he would leave if the Magpies were relegated.
Who might want him? Arsenal were reportedly interested earlier in the season. Perhaps Steve Bruce’s collection of ex-Newcastle players is a more likely destination.
4. Stewart Downing
Like Owen, Boro’s wantaway winger was another player likely to move regardless of his club’s fate. A nasty injury might put off potential suitors until he has regained fitness, or it might cause someone to take a gamble and haggle on the England international’s price-tag.
Who might want him? Spurs and Liverpool.
5. Obafemi Martins
The Nigerian has struggled for fitness this season and consequently Newcastle have struggled for goals. Still a great performer and wonderful goalscorer when he is injury-free.
Who might want him? Arsenal’s once lustful interest seems to have waned. Could be the proven goalscorer that Hull need.
6. Matthew Bates
Boro’s bit-part defender has been coverted to some sort of Teeside Makelele this season, and has earnt rave reviews for his performances in his new postion.
Who might want him? Blackburn or any of the newly promoted teams.
7. Scott Carson
OTP occasionally gives the blunder-prone keeper a hard time, but for the most part he is a good goalie. If he wants to force himself to the fore of Fabio Capello’s thoughts in the build-up to the World Cup he will need regular Premier League football.
Who might be interested? Hull and the new boys again.
8. Chris Brunt
One of the few Albion players to regularly catch the eye. Dangerous from set pieces, a physique suited to Premier League football, and a powerful shot.
Who might be interested? Stoke City (although he’s only 6ft 1in), Wigan, Fulham and Bolton.
9. David Wheater
The young centre-back has said he doesn’t mind staying at his local club, but he is another player on the fringes of the England set-up who will need to get back to the Premier League sharpish if he has any ambitions of travelling to South Africa.
Who might be interested? Aston Villa, Fulham and anyone below them in the table.
10. Jonas Gutierrez
Showed glimpses of being a very good player, especially early on in the season. He is unlikely to want to slum it in the Championship. One of the few players who looked capable of changing the pace of Newcastle’s pedestrian attack, and very comfortable on the ball.
Who might be interested? Perhaps a return to Spain is more likely, but West Ham could be tempted.