By Chris Wright
Hot on the heels of our end-of-season Top XI Players That Stay Where They Are This Summer rundown from last week comes it’s partner piece – Pies’ list of the eleven Premier League players that should definitely think about giving their agent a ring come June…
11. Shay Given, Man City
There’s a school of thought which suggests that it’s Given’s relative lack of command and physical presence (e.g, people continue to assume he’s a diminutive chap to this day – in fact he’s 6’1″) that continually put off teams with genuine Champions League ambitions from cherry-picking the Irishman from behind Newcastle’s porous defence of yesteryear – a theory perhaps lent a bit of credence by the fact that 35-year-old’s standing at Man City has gradually diminished as the club’s pretensions have swollen over the past two years.
That said, his shot-stopping chops and hair-trigger reflexes are undeniably first class and, with the years spent mopping up behind Titus Bramble Mk I, Given has undoubtedly earned the right to ply his trade as a Premier League No.1 – not as a second-string reserve teamer.
10. Michael Owen, Man Utd
Said Owen on the subject of one Javier Hernandez recently:
“He is 10 years younger of course, so maybe he is a better version of the current Michael Owen.”
Yep. With the emergence of Chicharito at Old Trafford, it looks like L’il Mick is going to have to besmirch his CV and go slumming it in mid-table after all. That said, surely a rumoured move to Derby County (which, as it happens, has been formally debunked by Nigel Clough today) is overly-extreme.
9. Hugo Rodallega, Wigan
Despite being drastically oversold by those who don’t watch him bandy about for 90 minutes on a weekly basis, Rodallega has proved himself to be a 10-goal-a-season man whilst playing in a patchy, relegation-dogged side for the past two seasons – becoming Wigan’s all-time leading Premier League goalscorer (with 21 goals) along the way which, all-in-all, is not to be sniffed at.
With a healthy strike rate such as his, Rodallega is almost certainly going to wind up at a mid-table side sooner rather than later – perhaps an Everton or a Sunderland?
8. Kevin Doyle, Wolves
I happen to really rate Doyle, and he is a much better all-round player than the ‘tireless work-horse’ caricature which he tends to flippantly receive so often these days – he may have to run around like a blue-arse fly to forge anything for himself and his teammates at