Which Relegated Players Will Premier League Sides Snap Up?

Sunderland, Hull City and Middlesbrough will see several departures as they fall to the second flight, but which players are most likely to be signed by Premier League sides?

Relegation brings loss of revenue, brand exposure and, potentially the most painful, loss of players. Culminating a top-level squad only to see one's club have to sell, reorganize and downgrade is a serious sting, and the sight of Premier League clubs flying circles around the relegated sides for new talent doesn't help.

But this is the reality that Sunderland, Hull City and Middlesbrough have to face. They'll hope to keep a core of the squad and a player or two who could leave if they wanted, but selling off higher-caliber players is a fact of the matter. And while it's sad for the relegated few, the remaining EPL sides are happy to buy.

All three of this season's relegated sides have players of interest, so let's take a look at who might migrate to stay in England's top division.

Kamil Grosicki

Country: Poland
Club: Hull City
Position: Attacking Midfielder/Winger

The 28-year-old winger displayed impressive form at Ligue 1 side Rennes before January, creating 7 goals in 16 appearances. This prompted Hull City to drop £7 million on the Polish international, hoping to find more goals in their eventually unsuccessful attempt to escape from relegation. Life with the Tigers was not sweet for Grosicki, at least until April.

Appearances Goals Assists Pass Success Rate
12(3) 0 3 72.1

Tallying three assists over the course of two games, Grosicki displayed a deft touch and an eye for a gorgeous pass. He didn't create any more goals, but his form continued to be impressive. With a side better equipped to finish, such as Watford or Newcastle, Grosicki might replicate his form at Rennes.

Watford are looking to recover after a limp finish to the season, failing to get any points out of their last six matches. Newcastle, on the other hand, are looking for attacking support to ensure they stay up upon their return to the Premier League. The image of Grosicki delivering balls to the Hornets' Troy Deeney or the Magpies' Aleksandar Mitrovic is certainly an attractive one.

Harry Maguire

Country: England
Club: Hull City
Position: Center-back

Harry Maguire has attracted the interest of Premier League clubs for a while, but this past season proved that the English center-half has the ability to perform against the big and small of the Premier League. At 24-years-old, Maguire has plenty of upside and surprising maturity, which explains the fervid interest from Tottenham Hotspur, Everton and Leicester City.

Appearances Duels Won % Pass Accuracy Avg. Defensive Actions
29 61 76 8

The rumored price is somewhere around £22 million, which could be a bargain depending on how Maguire's development goes. Everton and Leicester will likely attempt to sway the defender by offering more first-team opportunities and a bigger paycheck, while Spurs have the enticing offer of Champions League football.

Maguire will likely displace Robert Huth at Leicester or Phil Jagielka for the Toffees should either club be able to sign him. However, there's no question he would take a backseat in north London to one of the best center-back pairings in Europe in Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld, assuming both stay with Spurs, but learning under the Belgian backline at Tottenham could help develop Maguire into a special player.

Jordan Pickford

Country: England
Club: Sunderland
Position: Goalkeeper

One of the few bright spots of Sunderland's season, the 23-year-old keeper will undoubtedly move after displaying exceptional talent, although his inexperience led to some mistakes. There's no doubt that he should remain in the top flight, it's just a matter of how much he'll cost.

Appearances Clean Sheets Saves Per Game Goals Conceded Per Game
29 4 3.79 1.72

The early frontrunners appear to be West Ham United, who reports say are willing to spend close to £20 million as well as sending goalkeeper Adrian to the Black Cats. It's a sensible deal, although the Hammers may eventually have to cough up more cash if Adrian doesn't want to make the move.

Like Maguire, Pickford is one of the most promising English players in the country, which improves his price and general interest. The need for homegrown players as well as goalkeepers who can make the difference in the Premier League should see Pickford with a plethora of options this summer.

Victor Valdes

Country: Spain
Club: Middlesbrough
Position: Goalkeeper

Valdes' legacy has taken the slightest of dips over the past couple years as he's left his 387 appearances for Barcelona behind to have a rough, incident-ridden year with Manchester United before a lackluster season with Boro, which culminated in a mutual termination of his contract. However, Valdes is still a capable backup or potentially a starter for a lower side.

Appearances Clean Sheets Saves Per Game Goals Conceded Per Game
28 8 2.29 1.29

A reunion in Manchester with Valdes' old manager Pep Guardiola could be in the cards. Goalkeeping for Manchester City wasn't too pleasing, and the two former Barcelona men could come together in light blue. Claudio Bravo replaced Valdes in Catalonia, but it may be the other way around in the blue end of Manchester.

There could be other EPL options or a return to Spain for the 35-year-old, but it certainly would be sensational for the Spaniard to join the Citizens. With his peak behind him and likely only a few years remaining, Valdes can return home or handle some unfinished business in England.

Ben Gibson

Country: England
Club: Middlesbrough
Position: Center-back

Another promising Englishman, Gibson became the first-choice center-half for Boro, starting all 38 league games and playing all 90 minutes of each of them. The 24-year-old has been vocal about wanting to leave after relegation was confirmed, and with pursuers like Chelsea and Liverpool, he'll have no shortage of options.

AppearancesClean SheetsPass Accuracy RateAerial Duels Won Percentage

Whether Gibson joins one of the top clubs or takes a more certain role with a smaller club is yet to be seen. Gibson contributed to 11 clean sheets and rarely looked out of his depth, so he could potentially be a "plug-and-play" defender at numerous clubs.

Choosing glory or playing time will be an interesting decision for Gibson, but his future seems bright either way. While Boro will be sad to lose a player who grew in their youth system, they will likely turn a decent profit while giving Gibson what he desires.