Summer is here and the annual transfer merry-go-round is under way, bathed in the warming rays of our bright orb – unless you reside somewhere in the British Isles.
The end of the season will have brought a variety of feelings for the discerning football fan, though it will depend upon which shirt he wears.
Championship glory for some, mid-table numbness for others, but we must always spare a thought for those who have had to endure the crushing despair and gloom swamp that is relegation.
There are few worse feelings for a follower of football; it is a pain that only time can heal.
After a few weeks passing and the throbbing subsiding, you begin to feel a little more at peace with the predicament.
That is, until the vultures come calling to peck the juiciest morsels from the carcass that was once your proud club – every relegation has its casualties.
Just when you thought it couldn't get much worse, the few glints of positivity from your dire season are ripped away with cut-priced agony.
Premier League to Championship is a hard fall and GMF isn't going to soften the landing by identifying the bargains that could be had from the clubs that departed the division at the end of last season.
As you will see, there are quite a few players who could still make positive contributions in England's top flight. Here they are…
Matt Jarvis – The winger did not have his best season but his quality has been noted on a number of occasions. He has pace, can beat defenders and often delivers dangerous crosses, so he is likely to attract interest from a number of clubs. Newly promoted West Ham have been credited with an interest recently, along with Stoke City and, most surprisingly, Serie A side Udinese.
Steven Fletcher – The Scottish striker went down with Burnley two seasons ago and his second relegation in three years could have put some suitors off. He scored 12 goals in the league this season and showed an ability to play the lone forward role effectively. Fletcher has a good instinct for goals and is exceptional in the air; he could quite easily be a success at a number of Premier League sides and should not cost nearly as much as the £7million Wolves paid to take him from Burnley.
Kevin Doyle – Another who had a poor season but the Republic of Ireland striker has proved his worth on numerous occasions. Doyle is known for his tireless running and in his better days he was touted for moves to Liverpool and Arsenal. He has not been quite the same since suffering from a serious knee injury the season before last, but could still contribute much in the way of industrious forward play.
Junior Hoilett – The young Canadian winger was fantastic at times in a tumultuous season for Rovers, often being the difference between defeat and a draw, sometimes even a win. A few spectacular goals and a handful of assists is not spectacular, but he had minimal experience of the league and is only 22. Most intriguingly, his contract is up and could be acquired for a minimal compensation fee. Transfer talk has linked him with Borussia Monchengladbach and Galatasaray, though Arsenal and Tottenham were credited with an interest previously.
Yakubu – It is quite an achievement to have a striker that can score 17 goals and still get your team relegated, it would be hard for anyone to argue that Steve Kean had done anything but a terrible job. The Nigerian looked lifeless for a couple of seasons and was hampered by injury, but he looked a bit like the player that was once so potent for Portsmouth. 'The Yak' showed a new side to himself by working hard as a lone striker and reaped the rewards with an impressive goal tally. Will not cost much to purchase and could be a gem of a signing.
Steven N'Zonzi – Often called 'the new Patrick Vieira', the tall midfielder has rarely shown any likeness other than in stature. However, he is technically proficient and has the physical attributes to become an imposing presence in midfield. Linked with any number of Premier League sides, N'Zonzi shown glimpses of being a very good player and at 23 he still has a fair bit of development to go.
Grant Hanley – The Scottish defender was thrust into a position of responsibility in the second half of the season after the departures of Christopher Samba and Ryan Nelsen. At only 20 and having made only eight Premier League appearances, Hanley became an integral part of a defensive unit that was dropping like flies. Despite having hardly any experience, he acquitted himself admirably and was, more often than not, the stand out performer in a poor side. Relegation will not have done his reputation any damage and is likely being eyed by some of the bigger Premier League sides.
Mark Davies – The 24-year-old put in some promising performances last season and was behind a lot of the good work Owen Coyle's side did. There seems to be a lot of sympathy for the Trotters over the manner of their relegation, citing injuries as a major reason, but there is no getting away from their atrocious defending. Davies, meanwhile, was tidy in possession, helped support the attack where he could, and looks as though he could be a useful midfield addition to a mid-table side.
Chung-Yong Lee – It was a terrible season for the South Korea international as he only made two appearances. A broken leg in pre-season training meant the 23-year-old missed practically the entire season, which was a blow to his side and would have had a lot to do with their drop. A skilful wide player or tidy central midfielder, Lee is a good young prospect and would command a decent price, though is not likely to break the bank considering the length of time spent on the sidelines.
Martin Petrov – A frustrating player at times, the Bulgarian is still capable of causing the opposition defence problems when he is on his game. His price is unlikely to be too high and will get you a wicked left foot, with pace to trouble full-backs. At 31, Petrov is pushing it in terms of long-term value but he has good Premier League experience and will be effective for any team – just don't ask him to defend.
Would you like your club to sign any of these players? Are there other players from the relegated sides you would like at your club? Let us know by leaving a comment below…