Premier League XI: Relegated stars
Adel Taarabt, Loic Remy & Arouna Kone could not prevent their clubs from being relegated to the Championship this season
Now that the Premier League season has finished and three teams have been relegated, the summer fire-sales will soon begin.
Wigan Athletic, QPR, and Reading all have quality players that will be sold and continue to play in the top division.
Here's the best of the worst:
Goalkeeper: Julio Cesar | QPR
The Brazilian international arrived at Loftus Road with the expectation to dominate between the sticks. While the ex-Inter Milan man has played admirably at times, his quality has not been enough to salvage QPR's doomed season.
The 33-year old has been linked to numerous clubs, including Arsenal, as his play this season has seen him become a very sought-after commodity. Keeping five cleans sheets behind what is an extremely porous back-line is to be commended.
Right-back: Emmerson Boyce | Wigan Athletic
While Wigan's back-line has been anything but solid this season, as evident by their league-worst defensive record, Emmerson Boyce has still shown himself to be a quality defender.
At right-back, he captained Wigan to their famous FA Cup final win over heavily-favoured Manchester City, putting in a solid defensive performance.
Centre-back: Chris Samba | QPR
The Congolese centre-half arrived with a hefty fee during QPR's January transfer splurge from the Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala.
The former Blackburn man did not live up to the billing of club saviour, only keeping one clean sheet while starting for Rangers. However, he was one reason for QPR's second-half surge, and formed a relatively decent partnership with Clint Hill.
Centre-back: Maynor Figueroa | Wigan Athletic
Wigan Athletic's defence has been much in shambles in recent weeks, coinciding with an injury to star defender Figueroa.
The Honduran has been a mainstay in Wigan's back-line since his arrival at the DW Stadium in 2008, making 159 appearances for the club. At 5ft 11in, his height leaves something to be desired, but he makes up for it in quickness and ball skills.
Left-back: Fabio | QPR
The less-heralded of the Premier League's Brazilian twins, Fabio has impressed at Loftus Road. Like his brother, he is quick, technically gifted, however he is not as dedicated as a defender, having the tendency to sometimes shirk off his defensive duties.
For such a young player, however, his ceiling is extremely high.
Left-wing: Shaun Maloney | Wigan Athletic
The skilful Scotland international has impressed this season, showing real quality, and an adept ability to play Roberto Martinez's free-flowing style of football.
Maloney is a dead-ball specialist, scoring numerous times from set-pieces this season, including a beauty against Arsenal. An integral part of Wigan's - albeit limited - success, Maloney is speculated to seek top-flight football elsewhere next season.
Centre-midfielder: James McCarthy | Wigan Athletic
The industrial Irishman has, like his Scottish counterpart, been a key cog in Wigan's successes this season, namely the FA Cup run which ended in Wigan being crowned champions at Wembley.
McCarthy has established himself as a crisp passer of the ball, with both the ability to attack and defend. He has been a part of every game so far this season for Wigan.
Centre-midfielder: Danny Guthrie | Reading
The former Liverpool academy man has consistently shown his class when given the chance. Despite a fall-out with then-manager Brian McDermott, which lead to the boss dropping him from the team for a considerable amount of the season, Guthrie has consistently been a bright-spot for a down-and-out Reading squad desperate for any positive performers.
Right-wing: Adel Taarabt | QPR
The Moroccan is a genius with the ball at his feet, but he's just not always motivated to play the game.
However, the enigmatic attacking midfielder can turn it on when he wants to, as shown by his spectacular performance in QPR's shock 1-0 win over Chelsea this season. While Taarabt tends to play selfishly at times and may not always be totally dedicated, his top-drawer talent is undeniable to anyone who has seen him play.
Striker: Arouna Kone | Wigan Athletic
Perhaps one of the most underrated summer signings, Roberto Martinez did a great bit of business by snagging Kone from La Liga side Levante. Bagging 11 goals this season, Kone instantly adapted to the English game, establishing himself as not only a forward with a physical presence, but also with sharp ball skills and a keen eye for the pass, as shown by his tidy total of five assists this season as well.
Kone is a Premier League-worthy player, and is perhaps Wigan's best footballer.
Striker: Loic Remy | QPR
Remy joins Chris Samba as the second player on this list snagged in the January transfer window by Tony Fernandes at QPR. The France international has performed well since joining from Marseille, adapting to the English game to average a goal every other game in his 12 league starts.
Along with Julio Cesar, Remy appears to be a major cash-getter for QPR, as his finishing ability, as well as his pace, has attracted a multitude of clubs including Arsenal, Liverpool, and Newcastle United.
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