Project Premier League: The three players Sheffield United, West Brom and Fulham should target

Former England striker among the players relegated trio should look to sign if they wish to bounce back at the first attempt.

If Sheffield United, West Brom and Fulham are to follow in the footsteps of Norwich City and Watford and secure a return to the top flight at the first attempt they will need to be smart with their summer recruitment.

A COVID-impacted market and Brexit complications will make navigating the transfer window even trickier.

Nevertheless, Planet Sport highlights three players the Premier League's relegated trio should look to sign in the summer if they are serious about quickly regaining their top-flight status.

Sheffield United - Lewis Baker

Of any Sheffield United player likely to get a move away from the club this summer, it seems safe to say it would be Sander Berge. Despite spending most of the season injured, Berge's reputation remains strong and he is being heavily linked with Arsenal and Aston Villa. The Norwegian's probable departure from Bramall Lane frees up an opportunity to bring in another midfielder, maybe a less defensive one, as United are severely lacking in playmakers.

Chelsea's Lewis Baker could be an option this summer after getting his career back on track on loan at Trabzonspor. Highly rated in his youth days, things haven't worked out for Baker since a loan spell with Vitesse between 2015 and 2017 but a season in the Super Lig has seen him make 36 appearances, providing two goals and three assists.

The way Chris Wilder/Paul Heckingbottom have United set up, placing emphasis on wing-backs and overlapping centre-backs with two strikers, doesn't leave much room for a player like Baker in the team. But, assuming a new manager ditches the 3-5-2 for his own system, he could thrive under an attack-minded coach like Alexander Blessin or Slavisa Jokanovic.

Baker would come relatively cheap as he enters the last year of his Chelsea contract and this must surely be the summer he finally gets a permanent move away from the Blues. At 26 years old, he desperately needs to settle at a club.

After a season well spent on the Black Sea coast, it's time to fulfil the potential that led Jose Mourinho to saying that if Baker didn't play for England, it would be his fault.

West Bromwich Albion - Harry Wilson

Like Berge at Sheffield United, if there is any West Brom player who will remain in the Premier League for 2021/22 it is Matheus Pereira. His departure would leave the Baggies searching for a replacement, with other wingers Robert Snodgrass, Matt Phillips and Grady Diangana not impressing this season. In addition, Kamil Grosicki's contract is up at the end of June.

Liverpool's Harry Wilson shares some similarities with Lewis Baker. He has been loaned out by one of the 'big six' clubs numerous times and is now at a point in his career where he needs to find a permanent home. After coming close to a move to Burnley last season, Wilson had to settle for his third loan move to the Championship, where he has once again impressed.

The Wales international has featured in 39 games, laying on seven goals and 12 assists. In truth, he is good enough to earn a move to another Premier League club, but West Brom should at least test the waters with Wilson.

Despite the appointment of Big Sam, the Baggies were relegated from the Premier League without much of a fight. However, they did show their willingness to sanction big-money moves, with Diangana and Karlan Grant brought in. With the money they recoup from player sales as well as parachute payments, they have the cash to fund a full-on promotion assault.

A lack of creativity in the final third proved fatal to their Premier League survival quest. The addition of Wilson would go a long way towards remedying that.

Fulham - Daniel Sturridge

This summer will likely see Fulham undergo a shake-up in their striker department. Loanee Josh Maja will return to Bordeaux and Aboubakar Kamara will return from his loan spell at Dijon, while something doesn't appear to be right between manager Scott Parker and Aleksander Mitrovic. The Serbian only has four goals to his name this season and rarely played during the second half of the campaign with Parker tending to favour Maja, leaving the £22million man on the bench.

Chances are one or both of Parker and Mitrovic will leave Craven Cottage in the summer. If it is the striker, Fulham will need to bring in a new marquee name to lead the line for next season. Co-owner and director of football Tony Khan has shown before that he isn't afraid to splash out on big money signings with the acquisitions of Jean Michael Seri, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Alfie Mawson. And, with 10 players set to depart the club, the Cottagers may have a bit of room to manoeuvre with their wage budget.

It's an ambitious suggestion, and the player has on record said that he would like a move to the Premier League, but could a move for free agent Daniel Sturridge be possible? The England international has been around the game for so long, it is hard to believe he is still just 31. And, if his injury problems are behind him, he would be an asset for a top-flight club, let alone a Championship one.

A fully-fit Sturridge leading the line in the Championship sounds fun and isn't beyond the realm of possibility. Such a move would be on a par with what Bournemouth have done with Jack Wilshere this season. The midfielder signed a short-term, highly incentivised contract in a deal that made sense for both parties.

Sturridge has been out of the game for over a year after leaving Trabzonspor before the COVID-19 pandemic and he has reportedly received offers from clubs all over the world. Injuries have made people forget just how good a striker Sturridge is. Fulham may be just the place for the former England striker to remind them.

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