These five players may have contributed to their team succumbing to the drop this term but similarly they are far too technically gifted to be plying their trade in the second tier.

It’s only a matter of time before a club swoops to ensure that doesn’t happen. 

James Maddison

Due to the sheer welter of talent set to leave the King Power this summer it is difficult to properly gauge their Championship betting odds. Indeed, so many departures and arrivals are expected, it will be hard to keep up.

Eight players are out of contract while a further nine go into their final year and how many of those will be willing to extend, given the pessimism and uncertainly that has enveloped the club in recent times?

James Maddison Leicester winger

Without question, Maddison is the most sellable asset the Foxes have and to avoid losing him for free, it feels inevitable that Leicester will cash in this window.

Newcastle reportedly lead the chase though Arsenal are also long-term admirers of a versatile, impactful playmaker who racked up 19 direct goal involvements in 2022/23. 

For a team that otherwise struggled, that is mightily impressive.   

Harvey Barnes

Barnes too is destined to leave the East Midlands, putting an end to nearly five years of excelling down the Leicester left.

Again it’s Newcastle United who head to queue, though there will surely be no shortage of interested parties in a winger who out-scored Gabby Jesus and Son Heung-min this term.

After long being viewed as one of the most under-appreciated stars in the top-flight, expect the 25-year-old’s profile to rise in the coming months.   


Eighteen-months ago Leeds did well to fend off serious interest from Barcelona in their Spanish international, a striker who was a club record signing in 2020. 

Now, after hurtling through the relegation trap-door, the Yorkshire giants have no further cards left to play.

Leeds striker Rodrigo

Heading into his final contracted year at Elland Road, Rodrigo is a class above second-tier football and even if our Championship predictions tip Leeds to be firmly in the promotion mix, don’t anticipate their brilliant star being a part of it. 

Aged 32, Rodrigo will not want to risk seeing out his career at a lower level, while the club will no doubt be content to relieve themselves of his £100,000 a week wages.

Tyler Adams

In what has been a terrible year for USMNT stars, Adams can at least hold his head high, putting in 3.7 tackles per 90 for Leeds and averaging a 82.4% pass completion rate.

In between his weekly stint of fighting the tide at Elland Road, there was also the honour of captaining his country to the knock-outs in Qatar.

A return to Germany looks possible for a holding midfielder who shone at RB Leipzig and is still rated highly there.

James Ward-Prowse

The England international joined Southampton’s academy aged eight and has gone on to make 343 appearances for the Saints, becoming their reliable metronome, as well as carving out a reputation as a free-kick specialist.

Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse

Turning 29 this winter, it really feels like the right time for the likeable midfielder to prove himself at a top ten club.

Furthermore, it matters too that Ward-Prowse will not want to jeopardise his England chances, with the Euros next summer.


Stephen Tudor is a freelance football writer and sports enthusiast who only knows slightly less about the beautiful game than you do.

A contributor to FourFourTwo and Forbes, he is a Manchester City fan who was taken to Maine Road as a child because his grandad predicted they would one day be good.