EPL: Ranking the Top 10 Players to Pick off Blackburn, Bolton and Wolves
With all the excitement that accompanied yesterday's dramatic finale to the Premier League season still being digested by fans, three squads depart England's top division, no longer able to consider themselves part of the elite.
Destined for the Championship, Wolves, Blackburn and Bolton will drastically have to re-evaluate their rosters, and interest will quickly gather over the leading products from each squad.
Chairman will be inundated with inquiries, with clubs eager to learn the kind of cut-price deals certain individuals would now command, and many players will surely find themselves in new sides by the time the summer is over.
Here is a look at the top ten players who, despite being unable to stave off relegation for their current club, are still of the caliber to compete either in the Premier League or for other top sides.
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Sure, only Wolves leaked more goals than the 78 Blackburn shipped this season, but at just 20, Grant Hanley still has the potential to make it to the top of the game.
Already a full international for Scotland, the centre-back has been linked with Manchester United after his headline-grabbing strike at Old Trafford in December.
Likely to attract bids, Hanley may benefit more from simply grafting away in the Championship for a year, and honing his game further as he is still very young for his position.
Blackburn would be very reluctant to lose an academy graduate, and would attach a decent price-tag on him, but they are not in a position to reject too many attractive offers if they start to come in.
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Davies is one of the more underrated players in the Premier League, and had slowly started to blossom in Bolton's midfield, despite the Trotters' ultimate failures this season.
Recently playing off the front-man for Owen Coyle's side, the 24-year-old has popped up with a few timely goals, and has often been the main creative influence on the pitch.
He is tidy in possession, full of energy and boasts some intricate skills capable of unlocking Premier League defences.
Bolton's squad is likely to be decimated this summer, with an entire starting 11 out of contract. With Davies tied down until next season, Coyle may well envisage him being an integral part of any promotion bid, and therefore attempt to hang on to him until January at least.
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This season N'Zonzi's stock has slightly waned compared to recent seasons, but many sides would still welcome his defensive qualities in their midfield engine room, and he is unlikely to be too enthused about the prospect of playing down a tier.
He was his side's Player of the Year in 2010, and frequently found himself monitored by the likes of Arsenal, who admired his playing style. At a glance, and at his best, he is not too dissimilar to Patrick Vieira.
This season, however, those associations have begun to cease, as his form has suffered with his club's demise.
Tied to a long contract, some may be put off by a potentially inflated price, but the Frenchman is still likely to attract plenty of inquiries over the summer, and it would not be at all surprising if he has played his last game for Blackburn.
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Possibly underused by a goal-shy Wolves, the Scottish international topped his club's scoring charts despite only starting 26 games.
He registered 12 goals, a tally only beaten by 11 players in the Premier League all season, and his final haul made up over 25-percent of Wolves' strikes over this campaign.
Fletcher's main attributes are his clinical streak and predatory instincts shown around the box, and he is also deceptively astute in the air, a trait that often outfoxes defenders.
With an overall record 22 league goals in 61 games for Wolves, and still just 25 years old, surely somebody will take a punt on his signature this summer?
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The fact that O'Hara missed half the season with varying injuries had a major bearing on Wolves' fortunes.
Whether or not he could have kept them in the league is debatable, but they would have ended up with far more points had he appeared all season. Sadly for Wolves, he only featured in 19 games.
In those games he played, Wolves secured 18 points, including all five of their league wins. In stark contrast, Wolves never won and only picked up a dismal seven points in the 19 matches he missed
His absence directly affected the passing game, and halted Wolves' general fluidity. His vision, creative nous and craft on the ball could not be replicated by any of his replacements.
If he can straighten out his injury record, O'Hara should find himself back in the Premier League before too long.
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There have been times over his career that the Nigerian has had his passion and commitment questioned, and even been labelled slow and unfit. Yet he certainly did his best to dispel the critics this campaign.
Only three players scored more than him all season, and his haul of 17 Premier League goals in a relegated team has only been surpassed by the 21 goals Andrew Johnson hit for Crystal Palace in 2005.
Seemingly stagnating after a horrific injury, he was suddenly as rapacious in front of goal as he's ever been, and his final strike against Chelsea meant this season was officially his most potent on English shores.
Flogged by Everton, and picked up for a paltry figure, it wouldn't take too much of a weighty offer to drag him back to the Premier League, where he would surely supply a guaranteed return of goals.
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Plagued by injury that has kept him out of action for over a year, Holden has been sorely missed for Bolton this season.
Since arriving almost undetected in January 2010 and barely seeing any game-time until the following season, Holden was a stand-out performer at the Reebok Stadium.
Despite missing the final two months of action, he was still voted the club's Player of the Year in that inaugural full campaign. Unfortunately for Bolton, he has scarcely been fit since then.
Holden is a versatile midfielder, capable of delivering high-quality set-pieces. If he can regain his fitness, he will undoubtedly be one of the more coveted players in the Championship. He certainly has a game for the Premier League and one many clubs would benefit from.
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A recurring theme in this list is the vital players these relegated sides have missed, which only goes to further demonstrate their influence and enhance their value.
Chung-Yong Lee is another felled by serious injury this year and robbed of a season, after two exciting campaigns at the Reebok Stadium.
In 2010 he was Bolton's Player of the Season and he continued that impressive form into 2011, winning many admirers and earning himself a new contract at the club.
An elusive, tricky winger, the South Korean is still only 23 and is destined for an exciting future in the game. It is highly unlikely he will remain in the Championship for long.
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Unlike every other player on this list, come June, Hoilett is a free agent, and therefore is free to choose his next career step.
The Canadian international will not play for Blackburn again, although due to his upbringing in Rovers' youth academy, English sides interested in his services would still have to pay a fee, likely to be determined at a tribunal.
An agile attacker, with an entourage of tricks, Hoilett is capable on both flanks, but perhaps is most suited to playing just behind a striker.
Clearly a player who oozes Premier League pedigree, his creative guile has been behind many of Blackburn's better attacking moves, and he has chipped in with a handy return of seven goals.
Linked with a range of top sides, from Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham and Bayern Munich, Hoilett may have a busy time deciphering exactly which club suits him best.
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Wolves' Matt Jarvis tops this list, and surely will be a player coveted by many clubs over the course of the summer.
An archetypal, old-fashioned winger, he has been an all-too-rare beacon of consistency at Molineux in what has been a dire season for the club.
Blessed with pace, trickery and an accurate shot, he would compliment many sides in the Premier League. His crosses would provide countless chances for forwards, and his ability to score (eight goals this season) would augment several offences.
The only drawbacks for those likely to pursue his services will be his price, likely to be inflated due to his nationality, and the fact he has recently gained international recognition for England.
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