Date:Sunday May 13 2007
The newly-relegated teams are always a happy hunting ground for the lucky teams that have achieved automatic promotion (and also the playoff winners, but they lose a few weeks on the others) as there are inevitably some players that are prepared to jump ship and try their luck for another season in the top flight.
The best players are frequently snapped by established teams, but as Birmingham have spent four of the past five years in the Premiership, it's possible that some players will be more willing to give them a chance over a team that may not have seen the top flight for over a decade.
With that in mind, there are a number of players that may fall under Steve Bruce's scrutiny in the next few weeks.
Watford didn't bring many players into their promotion squad so probably stand a reasonable chance of keeping their team together for a second stab at the Premiership.
They have already pocked nearly £10m from the sale of Ashley Young to Aston Villa, but Marlon King is likely to cause some interest, particularly amongst the likes of Sunderland, Birmingham and whoever scrambles their way through the playoff system.
From Charlton, Darren Bent is sure to have a number of teams chasing his signature and the price tag on his head may prove to be prohibitive for Blues.
There are other pickings to be had amongst the Addicks if Pardew decides to dismember the squad over the summer, or if players decide they don't fancy the rough and tunble of the Championship for a season.
Defenders Luke Young and Madjid Bougherra are likely to arouse the interest of other clubs; in fact Bougherra was being looked at in January 2007 when Upson left for West Ham.
Charlton also have a number of saleable midfielders, Thomas, Reid and Ambrose being the most likely to attract the attention of Birmingham scouts by merit of their age and experience.
However, the midfielder who at first sight would be most likely to fit into Blues' criteria of 'young and hungry' and also being the type of player who would quickly find his way into the fans' hearts would be Phil Jagielka.
Sheffield United, probably the least likely team to be relegated before this weekend's games, cruelly found themselves dumped out of the Premiership on Sunday by West Ham and Wigan's results.
Neil Warnock will be desperate to keep his team together, but his crown jewel is Jagielka. Just selected for the England 'B' team, Jags is the player that Blades fans fear losing the most. He is the powerhouse of the Sheffield midfield, strong and fearless.
He is also able to fill in many other positions on the pitch, frequently covering defence and even on occasions as a goalkeeper. Steve Bruce has previously declared his liking for players who have these capabilities, but Jagielka has the sort of heart that Blues fans love; he will give his all for the cause and is the last player to stop working.
Would it be possible to prise him away from Bramall Lane? He has declared that in his heart he is forever a Blade, but being on the edge of the national team could sway him to move away.
However, a player of this type will also attract the attention of other managers; teams of the ilk of Sunderland, Bolton, Blackburn and Wigan would all look favourably on this hard-working midfielder and try to meet a price tag that Warnock will inevitably set high.
With rumours of Joey Barton being Newcastle-bound, the amiable Jagielka could attract a lot of attention now that the Blades' fate has been sealed.
This could be one to watch over the next few weeks.
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