·29 May 2023
·29 May 2023
Leicester City and Leeds United’s fate were sealed on Sunday and two Foxes players have been deemed good enough to join a seven-time title winner in the best XI of players to be relegated from the Premier League.
Leeds will shift some players but have no entrants here…
GK: David James (West Ham) The 2002/03 West Ham side is arguably the best team in Premier League history to be relegated. They had Paolo Di Canio, Michael Carrick, Jermain Defoe, Trevor Sinclair, Freddie Kanoute and this man David James.
James was a six-year England international when the Hammers went down and actually stayed at Upton Park for one season in the second tier before joining Manchester City and Portsmouth, where he spent four great years.
The ex-West Ham shot-stopper is fifth on the list of all-time Premier League appearance makers with 572; only Petr Cech has claimed more clean sheets.
RB: Ricardo Pereira (Leicester City) The choices for this position were not great. So thankfully for us, Leicester were one of the two teams relegated on Sunday, because Luke Ayling and Seamus Coleman didn’t stand a chance.
Admittedly, Pereira has not had the best season, but he was once one of the best right-backs in the Premier League and will have no trouble finding a new club this summer.
CB: Gareth Southgate (Crystal Palace) England manager Gareth Southgate was Crystal Palace’s captain when they suffered relegation in 1993. He stayed put to help them go back up but left in 1995 after another relegation.
CB: Harry Maguire (Hull City) One of Southgate’s favourite players is his defensive partner in this relegation XI. Despite Harry Maguire’s lack of form at club level over the last two years, he has been a mainstay in the England squad.
Maguire was relegated with Hull in 2017 and moved to Leicester City, where he spent two years before becoming the most expensive defender of all time, costing Manchester United £80million in what has become one of the most scrutinised transfers in Premier League history.
Saying that, the 30-year-old is still somehow Red Devils captain and a crucial player for his country.
LB: Andy Robertson (Hull City) In comparison, Maguire’s Hull teammate Andy Robertson has been one of the biggest bargains in Premier League history. Signed by Liverpool for a measly £7m following the Tigers’ relegation to the Championship, it is fair to say the Scotland captain has been the best left-back in world football for most of the last six years.
DM: Scott Parker (West Ham) Scott E Parker was named FWA Footballer of the Year in 10/11 despite West Ham’s relegation. This probably makes him the best player to ever be relegated from the Premier League. It still seems ludicrous that this happened.
After a historic campaign with the Hammers, Parker moved to Tottenham, where he made the PFA Team of the Year in his debut season.
DM: Roy Keane (Nottingham Forest) The second player in this team to go on to captain Manchester United after being relegated, Roy Keane was named in the Team of the Year despite Nottingham Forest’s relegation in 92/93.
Fast-forward two decades and Keane is arguably the greatest midfielder in Premier League history having won the title seven times. Four FA Cups and a Champions League is not too bad, either.
AM: Juninho (Middlesbrough) There are so many midfielders to choose from here. Michael Carrick, Gini Wijnaldum and Youri Tielemans come to mind, but Brazilian superstar Juninho gets the nod having suffered relegation with Middlesbrough in 1997.
Boro reached the League Cup and FA Cup finals in the same season they came 19th in the Premier League; Juninho scored 12 goals and made eight assists and played alongside Fabrizio Ravanelli, who had 31 goals across all competitions that season.
Juninho left following Middlesbrough’s relegation but returned on loan for 99/00 and then again for two years in 2002.
It has been a good campaign for Maddison, who went to the World Cup, but he was pretty poor during the relegation run-in as Dean Smith could only manage two victories after replacing Brendan Rodgers as manager.
Nobody knows where Maddison’s future lies, but it’s certainly not at the King Power.
LW: Paolo Di Canio (West Ham) Love him or hate him, Paolo Di Canio was one hell of a footballer. The Italian maverick was in the aforementioned West Ham team that went down in 2003.
Di Canio scored nine goals in 18 league games for the Hammers and joined Charlton Athletic shortly after their relegation was confirmed.
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