We’ve already seen several key signings by Premier League clubs this summer with many new prospects coming in from La Liga. But in reality, we’re also going to probably see several key players leave their Premier League clubs this summer.
Here are the top 10 high-profile players most likely to leave:
1. Luis Suarez
The man is absolutely brilliant on the ball and can dribble his way in and out of any situation possible. He was Liverpool’s best player this campaign, with or without his bite. With interest coming from Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, Suarez wants a move. Liverpool, despite positive acquisitions in the past 6 months such as Coutinho and Sturridge, have missed out on Champions League football yet again and a player like Suarez needs to be seen on the biggest stage. He most recently stated his desire to leave and his ‘come and get me’ plea won’t be left unanswered for long. This move also may be best for him for personal reasons, leaving behind a horrible two years marred by racist taunts, handshake issues and copious amount of diving.
2. Gareth Bale
Speaking of diving, the Welshman does have a soft spot for Tottenham, the team that has seen him progress from a flimsy left back into one of the world’s most dangerous wingers. He may not be the complete package but he is close to it. He can beat defenders with his pace, shoot from a distance (and boy can he shoot), while also crossing and excelling at set pieces. With Barcelona having already signed Neymar, Bale may be destined to join Madrid or Manchester City, but his price may come as a hindrance to most teams. Bale’s agent has been doing the newspaper rounds and discussing his client’s bright future, but Bale may want to show his dedication to the North London club by sticking around one season, as if almost single handedly qualifying them for the Champions League wasn’t enough.
3. Carlos Tevez
The Argentine who has split decisions and cities will be on his way out. His season was mediocre despite impressing after coming back from his hiatus last year. City may want to offload the player or use him as a sweetener in a deal to get Cavani or Falcao. While Tevez is a perennial whiner, when on the pitch he will give his best for the team. At 29, this is his last chance to impress his suitors and improve his tattered image. Tevez, unlike other washed up strikers, was never bad and has consistently been able to play with another striker and score goals. His addition to any team will in no doubt be beneficial.
4. Fernando Torres
For £50 million, I want my striker to do more than score a dozen of goals in a season, most of which came during the Europea League campaign against lesser teams. His recent resurgence may have pleased the Chelsea faithful, but it also pleased Chelsea’s management team, increasing Torres’ stock in a bid to cash in on him. Chelsea are in need a top class striker, something they missed during the beginning of the season, which ultimately caused them to slip away from the title race. In Romelu Lukaku, Chelsea have a great striker, but Abramovich will be looking abroad for some much needed firepower and a swap deal with Napoli for Cavani is the most talked about transfer of the season.
5. Wayne Rooney
Wazza’s end of season tantrum was slightly overshadowed by Fergie’s departure, but his unhappiness has been part of his game for the past few months. Being constantly played out of position and having become second choice to Robin Van Persie has not only hurt Rooney’s ego, but has also inspired him to move on with his life. He has won the Premier League and the Champions League with Manchester United and will have to deal with his nemesis, David Moyes, next season. Whether Rooney is good enough to go to Real Madrid is doubtful, but PSG, looking to improve and expand their brand, could use someone of Rooney’s caliber. Arsenal has been heavily linked, but at £250K in wages, Wenger could sign an army of 18 year old French players that may turn into superstars (but most likely end up like Jeremy Aliadiere).
6. Marouane Fellaini
The big Belgian was supposed to be on his way out in the winter. His red card before the New Year was supposed to have marked his last game, but he carried on only to see his manager make that move. Manchester United have been linked with Fellaini even before Moyes moved to United, but the speculations are growing stronger. There are plenty of reasons for this, but one of them certainly is that United have been missing a strong midfielder and with the second retirement of Scholes, the time for Fellaini is right. The Belgian is a great Premier League player and his ability to score from the midfield is something every team desires, add on his aerial strength and physical attributes and you get the perfect threat. Fellaini will certainly be moving on, and the best bet is Manchester United, but other teams have been interested and I don’t expect him at Merseyside next season.
7. Christian Benteke
Young, strong, with an eye for goal and an incredibly powerful shot, the Belgian striker who finished the season with an impressive 19 goals for Aston Villa, is being eyed by every Premier League team in the country with an ounce of Champions League ambition. The ability to score 19 goals at a relegation threatened team is impressive and something Arsenal could use to improve their chances to end their trophy drought. The young Belgian is strong enough to hold up the ball, but also quick enough to pounce on a loose ball in the box, he also isn’t too bad in the air. Lambert has been trying to downplay Benteke’s obvious flirtations with other teams, but his stay in Birmingham will not last long, and Villa was just his platform.
If there is a ringing in your ear it may be because of all the times you have heard what a bargain the Spaniard has been. (Note: Michu won’t be able to fix it either, the ringing in his ear still goes on, displayed every time he scores a goal). We can go on and mimic every pundit’s plaudits about this player, but what is certain is that he is worth more than the £2 million Swansea paid for him and he can finish exquisitely. Although Swansea will want to keep hold of him, a big offer resulting in a large profit cannot be turned down by them. His age will certainly be a detriment to future suitors, but with one season in the Premier League under his belt, a move to a bigger club is in the books.
9. Edin Dzeko
He came with much hype and was not able to deliver, at least not when he started. The Bosnian striker has an impressive minute to goal ratio, often used as a substitute to the preferred Aguero/Tevez partnership. Some may point to Mancini’s failed tactics as a reason for Dzeko’s barren spell upfront when started, but he is certainly not a lost cause and most teams would be happy to have a player that averages about 1 goal every 2 games. The most common speculation comes from Dortmund, in a Lewandowski-Dzeko switch, but his unhappiness at being used a super sub was clear in a post-match interview and he will need definite assurances in order to stay in Manchester.
10. Asmir Begovic/Simon Mignolet
This may be cheating, but since goalkeeper transfer speculations tend to be quite rare in the Premier League, this double coup has to be noted. With Butland having been signed by Stoke, the ever impressive Begovic is likely to leave this season. The Bosnian has been tied to Liverpool in the past. Mignolet has been singled out by fans as their star player and the Belgian does deserve all the plaudits, he may have kept Sunderland in the Premier League this season, but he will want to look for a team with a stronger defense to help him out. It looks likely that Mignolet will officially join the Reds of Liverpool this week.
I have left off the players from relegated sides, but Shaun Maloney and Loic Remy come as obvious choices, as well at Adel Taarabt and Arouna Kone.