Macsen Morgan looks at the trio of recently-relegated Premier League sides for players who could improve the Whites.
When teams are relegated, it never takes long for the vultures to circle. Here are three players we should be looking at – and maybe get a good deal for.
Southampton: Romeo Lavia
Lavia is a Belgian defensive midfielder who has been a staple in Southampton’s midfield this season, the 19-year-old has been one of the most promising talents to come out of Manchester City’s youth academy. He moved to Southampton last year for £12m.
Lavia’s drive to go forward is unmatched by other players similar to him. He can rank highly in both progressive passes and carries while also offering a safe passing option to his teammates. His defensive intelligence is great and he excels at winning the ball back in transition similar to Palhinha. While he is better at playing in a holding role like Palhinha, rather than a box-to-box role like Reed, he can still cover ground quickly with a pretty impressive pace.
However, he does have his flaws. One of which is his over-eagerness to press or chase the ball, which can lead to him being out of position or losing the ball in the crucial position outside his penalty area. However, he is only 19 and has time on his side to improve these aspects of his game. Recent reports that Arsenal are sniffing around him could put a spanner in the works, though!
Leicester: Luke Thomas
Thomas is a 21-year-old English full-back who is one of Leicester’s and England’s most promising defensive prospects. He has 85 senior appearances for Leicester although he has fallen out of favour this past season. A Leicester academy graduate, Thomas is one of the most promising defensive prospects in the league. He has put in some great defensive performances over the last few seasons. His defensive positioning and understanding of advanced defensive principles bode very well for a player of his age. However, the attacking portion of his game is worse than his defensive attributes; although he is composed on the ball, his attacking output is lower than it should be and he needs to work on his carries into the final third.
Overall. Thomas is a great prospect and one that looks like he could make it into the England national team if he can follow in the footsteps of former Leicester full-back Ben Chilwell. He also wouldn’t break the bank at only around £10m. All this means that he could bring some youth to our back line, while we could provide a great opportunity for his development.
Leeds: Cody Drameh
A familiar face is my pick for Leeds, Drameh is a 21-year-old graduate of the Fulham academy, who moved to Leeds in 2021 but has spent the second half of the season on loan at Luton Town.
Drameh played a crucial role in the last part of the Hatters’ season and play-off campaign. starting 19 games for Luton. He performed admirably, getting two assists and ranking fourth in the club in terms of crosses and tackles made. His versatility for Luton is great as he has been able to fill both the right midfield and right-back roles with ease – he has that perfect balance between attack and defence that you need for a modern full-back.
Drameh’s strongest points are his penetrating runs into opposition territory and his great ball recoveries, however, he needs to improve at shooting and passing as his passing accuracy sat at a disappointing 72%. This taken into account, he would be a great squad option and he has the potential to develop into a great starting player, this combined with his previous time at the club means that I think that he could be a very good signing that wouldn’t cost us much.