This is the 1st in my VALUE FOR MONEY SERIES:
Last seasons relegated sides were 3 of the worst the Premier League has ever seen (2 more ran them close though) but like any team at that level their are always players who did not look out of place and can still play at the top level. These men can offer value for money during this summer transfer window if clubs come in for them:
Unlucky to go down in a sense as their was a team as bad as them (Brighton) but ultimately not scoring enough goals cost them.
Neil Etheridge – The standout, highlight player in the team, without him they could and should have endured more embarrassing beatings last season. The fact it has taken him so many years (including a spell of leaving the game) to reach the top he surely must be looking for a move. With 2 years on his contract, his age (29) and a desire to play top level a bid of £8m+ would surely entice Cardiff. With keepers like Jack Butland being valued at over £20m he is the value keeper available. His range of club interested could flow from Arsenal with Cech leaving he could do a job at the Emirates battling Leno down to any of the promoted sides.
Sean Morrison – Once looked upon as your typical hard as nails English centre back who’s ceiling was the championship truly thrived last season. Taking his performances to the next level was seamless, like Etheridge the lure of another season in the Premier League must be too much. With 3 years on his contract Warnock could try to play hard ball but a bid of £10m would be fair. A trait which cannot be measured would be his influence in the changing room. Clubs like Newcastle Utd, Southampton or even Arsenal could do with a man/player like him.
Callum Paterson – The former right-back turned midfielder was thrust into a new role last season…..as a striker. His change of role was more of an indication of the lack of quality Cardiff had up front than he couldn’t play in midfield. He defended from the front but showed the needed quality to score. Out of the 3 Cardiff lads he would probably cost the most due to age (24) and 3 years on his contract but if enough fuss is created around him even a loan move could be an option. Burnley and Brighton are very poor teams and his addition would be another workmanlike signing to their squads but they both need depth to their squad.
Out of the 3 relegated sides finding value for money from this squad was hard as they overspent last summer. Mitrovic did okay but strikers cost the premium and I do not consider £30m+ for him to be good value. Over the last 2 summers Cairney was touted about at values around £20m. Last season showed he cannot play in the top level. Even if he was available for £8m+ it’s not a good signing.
Ryan Sessegnon – My word how has his star fallen, once touted at £50m+ i would say now a bid of £20m with multiple add on’s would be his price. For a lad his age and ability that value could be a bargain! Last seasons form was more to do with the surroundings than him. Spurs, Arsenal, Man Utd or even Wolves will surely be looking at him.
Alfie Mawson – Unfortunately suffered an injury plagued season but when he did play he also performed badly. Near the end of his Swansea tenure he was starting to be found out which concluded in his fizzling out international career. That being said he has shown he can perform at this level, would be available for at least half of last summers fee (£15m) so would appeal to any of the promoted sides or even Leicester.
The club relied on loan players to get them promoted 2 years ago and then followed the Premier League remit of buying expensive, overpriced foreign talent. A few of their lads did show some promise.
Aaron Mooy – The best player over their 2 seasons in the top flight, always showing why he was on Man City’s books at one time. Absolute class act who is in his prime (28) and only 1 year left on his contract. A bid of £8m is cheeky but with a few add on’s such as appearance based fees could swing the deal considering in January he can sign a pre-contract agreement. Apart from the top 6 I can see almost every one of them showing interest with a club like West Ham or even Bournemouth seeming ideal fits.
Karlan Grant – A willing front-runner who averaged 1 in 3 since he joined in January for a moderate fee of £1.5m. He always impressed when he played, his only issue will be convincing clubs his troubled off-field past is behind him. Due to his age and contract they would want near on £10m but considering most strikers from any level seem to be labelled with that tag it’s not much of a risk, at least he has scored at the top level. Ideal move for him would be Leicester, slipping in as a squad member plus working with Rodgers. Next season is going to be a big one for them.
Next week I will be looking at EFL players who could be good value for Premier League teams. Please let me know your thoughts on this in the comments below!