While the end of the season is going to be a painfully anxious time for the fans of all the clubs yet to hit the magical 40 points in the Premier League to all but confirm their survival, the potential of relegation is opening up lots of opportunities to profit on the Index. These opportunities come in the shape of those that will be looking for a way out of the sinking ships in summer, the big fish in a small pond type players that you know have no intention of stepping foot in the Championship. Should these players make a move, especially to a Premier League side, there is certainly potential to profit, predominantly because many of them are so cheap to begin with.
Now I know they say never put your headliner first, but in this case, Ryan Bertrand has to be mentioned now because if I do not then by the time I get to him his price may have increased further. When I first started putting this piece together a couple of weeks ago the Southampton star was priced in and around £0.80. Meaning that mentioning him in here could have been quite a tip to be handing out, however, the England wingback has since picked up some attention in the press and with relegation looming ever closer, his price is now up to £1.24 at the time of writing, which is quite the jump. However still far from the ceiling in my opinion. With many top teams looking to strengthen at the back, and a move abroad being unlikely, he appears certain to pick up some coverage later once the transfer window kicks off and when compared to Danny Rose currently being priced at £1.53, Kyle Walker peaking at £1.40 before his Manchester City move around a year ago, bearing in mind the increasing amount of traders that have been onboarded in that time and even in a more extreme case, Virgil Van Dyke hitting an impressive £2.64 before his Liverpool move in January, there still appears to be room for profit on the £25 million rated man. The Southampton squad, in general, is full of lots of talent that will more than likely look to abandon ship should relegation be confirmed. Mario Lemina, in particular, is another target for Liverpool who has continued to feed off the relegation-threatened club for years and provides a good option at £1.09.
Another player in a similar scenario is Wilfried Zaha, and while another Premier League season is almost secured for Crystal Palace next season, it would be rather surprising if they can secure the services of the Ivorian winger for another season, given the level of performance he has showcased over the year. With newspapers flirting with the idea of a move to Tottenham in the past, and Arsenal also being mentioned, it would be expected that the ex-Manchester United man could be involved in a London-based tug-of-war over the summer. His price has continued to creep up during the last few months and currently stands at a modest £2.25, and while that is reasonably steep until a transfer rumour hots up with him at the centre of it, I do not see that number going south.
One for the cheaper side of the coin is Stoke City’s, Jack Butland. The shot-stopper not only has the possibility of being England’s number one in the summer but is almost guaranteed a move away from sinking Stoke in the window. With top teams like Liverpool and Arsenal both looking for goalkeeping replacements, a high profile move is definitely worth gambling on at £0.93 and while goalkeepers do not have a great track record of winning Match Day Dividends and his value after a move would be questionable, it does not mean you cannot make profit in the interim.
Finally, a man playing for a team who are more “dead in the water” than a sinking ship, Jonny Evans. Another player who has been linked away in the past, especially with Arsenal and he still remains a cheap option to bring in for any Premier League side. At £1.31, a strong link with the Gunners again could definitely cause a spike, with Evans likely keen on one last payday before his career tails off.
Overall, this is just a handful of options and of course it is only considering the Premier League, my only precaution of considering other leagues relegation-threatened stars is the high probability of them moving to another foreign club, and if it is not a world-class team it is unlikely to pick up much media attention, if they are even eligible for it but that’s not to say they do not represent opportunities for potential growth and a similar strategy to the one considered above could be adopted in finding these potential bargains.