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Finding new teams for Premier League relegated stars - data analysis

Finding new teams for the Premier League’s relegated stars ahead of the summer transfer window – data analysis

The chaos is about to begin with the summer transfer window officially opening next week.

Teams will soon begin to assemble their squads in preparation for another season. As well as this, those sides who suffered relegation at the end of the previous season will also look to keep hold of their most prized assets.

Using some data and statistics, this data analysis will provide an analysis of where one player from each of the Premier League’s relegated sides may end up come the conclusion of the transfer window.

James Ward-Prowse

Southampton finished bottom of the Premier League and will return to the EFL Championship next season.

Captain and star player James Ward-Prowse is a central midfielder who usually plays as part of a midfield duo for Southampton. The 28-year-old is a traditional box-to-box midfielder, meaning he can be equally as effective in both penalty areas. In the Premier League last season, Ward-Prowse scored an impressive nine goals and provided four assists for his teammates.

By looking at data from the following pizza chart, we can see how he compared to other Premier League central midfielders, Ward-Prowse ranks well at Shots per 90, Goal Contributions per 90, and Expected Goal Contributions per 90. However, he also ranks well at Defensive Duels per 90 and Defensive Duels Won (%). This illustrates how he impacts Southampton at both ends of the pitch. We can also see how he ranks well at Received Passes per 90, Passes per 90, and Accurate Passes (%). This tells us how he plays a key part in helping Southampton to possess the ball.

Finding new teams for the Premier League's relegated stars - data analysis statistics

Ward-Prowse also has excellent ability from set-pieces, getting numerous goals and assists from penalties, corners and free-kicks.

With EURO 2024 coming up for England after next season, Ward-Prowse will surely need to have another season of Premier League football under his belt to have any chance of making the squad. West Ham United would present Ward-Prowse with exactly that. He would also have the chance of playing European football after their UEFA Europa Conference League victory earlier this week.

West Ham usually line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, and Ward-Prowse would fit nicely into this shape. To play in their system, West Ham require central midfielders who can provide protection for their defence, but can also pop up in the opponent’s penalty area and score. Stylistically, a move to East London would also make sense for Ward-Prowse.

West Ham are also a side that place a big emphasis on set pieces. Per 90 minutes, they gained the seventh-highest amount of corners in the Premier League last season. In addition to this, only Manchester City and Fulham won more penalties than West Ham. Given Ward-Prowse’s effectiveness from set-pieces, if West Ham were to bring him to London, he could help them to maximize this strength even further.

With West Ham seemingly prepared to lose captain Declan Rice this summer, a midfield spot could be about to open up in their side. Ward-Prowse’s current contract isn’t due to expire until 2026. However, should Rice move on, West Ham would have the funds available to draw Southampton’s key asset to the London Stadium.

Jack Harrison

Leeds United were relegated from the Premier League and will play in the Championship next season after a three-year stay in the top flight.

Jack Harrison is a left-footed winger who can play on either side of the pitch. The 26-year-old scored five goals and provided five assists to his teammates last season. He has excellent dribbling ability and can deliver dangerous crosses into the opposition penalty area. Using statistics from the below pizza chart, we can see how Harrison ranks well at both Dribbles per 90 and Dangerous Passes per 90.

Finding new teams for the Premier League's relegated stars - data analysis statistics

Harrison also gets through a lot of defensive work and also has the potential to play as a left wing-back. This is as long as he has the freedom when in possession to be able to show off his creative ability. By looking at the above pizza chart’s data, we can tell that Harrison also attempts a lot of Defensive Duels per 90 minutes.

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe is believed to be a long-time admirer of Harrison. With European football returning to St. James’ Park next season, now could be the perfect time to strike.

Harrison recently signed a new five-year contract to stay at Elland Road until the summer of 2028. However, Newcastle’s financial situation should allow them to finalise a deal for the Leeds man if they wish. It is also believed that Harrison has a release clause in his contract. Clubs could now trigger this after Leeds’ relegation was confirmed.

Allan Saint-Maximin scored one goal and managed four assists last season. He is Newcastle’s current left winger in their 4-3-3 formation. From the below pizza chart, we can see that the two players ranks similarly at statistics like, Goal Contributions per 90 and Expected Goal Contributions per 90. They also are similar at Dribbles per 90 and Dangerous Passes per 90.

Finding new teams for the Premier League's relegated stars - data analysis statistics

However, Howe also uses striker Alexander Isak on the left. Here. he can also drift inside the pitch to receive crosses in the penalty area. This allows Newcastle to use Callum Wilson as the centre forward, giving them two recognised strikers on the pitch. This is where Harrison’s versatility comes in handy. If Howe opted to use Isak on the left, Harrison could be deployed on the right side of Newcastle’s front three just as easily.

With the extra fixtures that will now come from Champions League qualification, having that extra bit of squad depth is something that Newcastle could find useful next season. The fact that Harrison could cover two positions means a potential transfer makes sense.

Harvey Barnes

Leicester City were relegated to the Championship after a nine-year stay in the Premier League.

One of Leicester’s key players is Harvey Barnes. Barnes is a right-footed left winger and has two years left on his contract which is due to expire in 2025. Using data from this pizza chart, we can tell that he attempts a lot of Shots per 90 minutes and Dribbles per 90 minutes. He also takes a lot of Opposition Penalty Area Touches per 90 minutes.

Finding new teams for the Premier League's relegated stars - data analysis statistics

In the Premier League last season, Barnes scored a very impressive 13 goals and also had one assist. At 25 years old, he would be a very useful addition to a number of sides.

One of these sides could be Fulham. Head Coach Marco Silva led Fulham to an excellent top-half finish in their first season back in the Premier League. Willian usually occupies the left side of Silva’s 4-2-3-1 formation, which is the same position as Barnes likes to play. Willian had five goals and six assists for Fulham in the league last season. However, he will turn 35 years old in August. This is therefore an area that Fulham may want to strengthen if they are to build on their impressive season last time out.

When we look at the below pizza chart, Barnes and Willian rank similarly at metrics like Goal Contributions per 90 and Expected Goal Contributions per 90. They also rank similarly at Dribbles per 90, Opposition Penalty Area Touches per 90, and Progressive Passes per 90.

Finding new teams for the Premier League's relegated stars - data analysis statistics

If they could pull a potential transfer off, Fulham would be bringing in a player in Barnes who would provide them with immediate ability. He would also have the potential to improve further still. It would mean that there would be an area of the pitch that they wouldn’t have to worry about improving for potentially years to come.


All three of the players that have been highlighted above are key players for their respective sides. This means that they won’t be allowed to leave cheaply. If their sides are serious about returning to the Premier League at the first time of asking, they may want to keep hold of these players.

Alternatively, if they were forced to sell, making sure they get the best price possible could help them fund transfers for multiple areas of the pitch.

There has also been talk of each player making the England squad at one point or another. With EURO 2024 not far away, having another season in the top flight is surely essential for any of these players to have a chance of making the squad, and each of these suggested moves would provide them with just that.