Relegation raid: The players who should be snapped up this summer

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Nobody could say they were too surprised to see Hull City, Middlesbrough and Sunderland go down this season.

But while the trio plan for life in the Championship, there were a couple of positives to take from their campaigns.

Some players managed to make an impression during an otherwise awful year for the three clubs, so much so we reckon the following players will be snapped up this summer.

Hull

Harry Maguire

Arguably Hull’s best player this season, Harry Maguire looks destined for a swift return to the top-flight.

He did all he could to keep out quality forwards, and at times came out on top, particularly in the 0-0 draw at Manchester United and the 2-0 win over Liverpool.

Capable at centre-half or right-back, Maguire also came up with two goals and two assists. Still only 24-years-old, the Premier League hasn’t seen the last of him yet.

Abel Hernandez

The powerhouse forward somehow mustered four goals and three assists from 24 appearances this term, which really is a credible return given the lack of service.

With some more attacking flair behind him, Abel Hernandez could yet be a double-figure Premier League goalscorer.

Valued at £6m, Hernandez fired in 20 goals in the Championship last season and should prove an affordable buy for someone this summer.

Middlesbrough

Gaston Ramirez

The Uruguayan managed two goals and three assists, but remember he was playing in one of the least-attacking sides in Premier League history.

But he showed all of his quality with a stunning solo effort versus Bournemouth, and it’s worth noting that he scored or assisted in three of Boro’s measly five wins this term.

Ben Gibson

Middlesbrough’s asset this season was that they were often tough to break down, and a huge chunk of that was down to Ben Gibson.

The 24-year-old was an ever-present for Boro, and took on the captain’s armband mid-season.

He has all the ability required to return to the top-tier, and this season’s experiences will only benefit him in the years to come. Chelsea and Manchester United have been linked

Sunderland

Jordan Pickford

Has one player ever been afforded so much sympathy as Jordan Pickford? The 23-year-old made his Black Cats debut last season, but had a thankless task this term.

Nevertheless, he impressed more often than not, and somehow produced four clean sheets behind a quite dismal Sunderland team.

Rarely has one player stood out so much from his colleagues.

Jermain Defoe

He’s leaving on a free anyway thanks to a relegation clause, but we can’t actually think of another Sunderland player worth mentioning on this list.

Despite now being 34-years-old, Jermain Defoe still scored over half of the Black Cats’ goals this season.

He bagged an impressive 14 goals in the opening 24 games of the campaign, and even made a goal-scoring return to the England set-up.

Bournemouth have been linked with a move, and it’s not hard to see why for one of the Premier League’s sharpest strikers.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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