I had to do something else rather than mope about thinking of our last game, so I decided to expand on a comment I made to Conor about getting value from transfers from teams about to be relegated. Here's some quick 'scouting' I've started.
I'll start with Italy.
Gino Peruzzi. A well regarded Argentinian right back once linked with Inter, PSV and Sunderland. Suffered injury last year which affected the season. Is technically very good both at defending which is important for a full back and attacking. I haven't seen much of him but he's not good enough to replace Johnson, but might develop nicely. I would prefer Flanagan to continue developing, but this lad looks like he can play and might be worth looking at as Catania are odds on to drop. You tube clip against Neymar v Santo is probably a highlight, but he was also excellent against Lazio in February. Edit: Further research suggests this kid does have a bright future; but needs to move away from Catania perhaps to realise his potential.
Norbert Gyömbér. Haven't really seen enough of him, but he was Duklas fans player of the season in 2013/13 before making the move to Catania. If anyone has watched much Serie A, they might be able to comment further, but he has started a fair few games and could have some potential.
Federico Ceccherini. I've not watched any Livorno games, so this suggestion is purely based on the fact he's a 21 year old who has been ever present in the back line for the last two seasons. We're probably ok at centre back with Wisdom and Ilori, but again, more of a mention out in case there's anyone who knows more about him and whether he has any potential.
Rene Krhin. Lots of hype about this kid when he moved to Inter. He didn't quite make it and moved on to Bologna where he's cemented a starting place in the last couple of seasons. Again, I'm going off recollections from 2009/10 rather than anything recent, so has anyone seen him play recently? Any potential there? Worth a punt for some cover at DM?
Arthur Masuaku. He's a left back who can get forward. I know nothing else of his abilities. Could be picked up cheap developed and sold on for profit.
Marco Da Silva. Sounds like a Brazilian flair player...oooh aaah. He's a DM and could be a cheap buy, loaned out and make a profit on him.
Does anyone watch much French football and can add any information?
Sebastian Corchia. I've know about this kid since he was at Le Mans. I think his stock has taken a bit of a dip, but with the clubs position, I think he'd be a gamble worth taking.
Sanjin Prcic is a versatile midfielder who has played on the wing, in attacking midfield and more recently in the double pivot for Sochaux. Apparently Chelsea have sent scouts to watch him. Again, could be a cheapish pick up for a player with a bit of potential.
Cedric Bakambu. A 2012 Le 50 member, Bakambu is classed as fast, powerful and having been played out on the wings ahs honed some of the technical skills he didn't have to use through the centre. I understand a couple of mid EPL teams have been looking at him, but again, could be worth a small punt and may reap some reward.
Edit: I've just read 2014 Le 50 and Prcic and Masuaku are listed as honourable mentions.
Alvaro Vadillo. A right footed winger who has apparently been scouted by a number of EPL clubs including ourselves. Features in Inside Spanish Footballs Top 50 Spanish Youngsters list at No 32.
A scout report is available here: http://espanoladefutbol.com/2013/11/08/scout-report-alvaro-vadillo/
He looks a useful little player.
Nono. Listed as a CM/AM; I can't find anything solid about him. He looks to have made 14 starts this year and been brought on 8 times, so like some of the other younger players mentioned, might be worth looking at as a cheap acquisition.
Lorenzo Reyes. Listed as a CM/DM; again I can't find anything solid about him. He has been a starter in Huachipato for the last 5 years before transferring to Betis. He has made 21 starts for them, most recently in the double pivot.
Cedrick. A right footed winger mostly deployed on the Left who has played mostly in the 2nd tier with Numancia. Has made 21 appearances split evenly as a starter and substitute.
Diego Marino. Marino has been part of the Spain youth set ups, in the U21 squads that won both the 2011 and 2013 European U21 Championships (*De Gea is slightly better than him by all accounts*). he has started 28 times this season and on the bench for 6 games.
Ramon Azeez. I have been unable to view this, but this might give you all a clue as to whether this chap looks like a prospect - http://vimeo.com/93034727
Apparently he can play anywhere in the spine of midfield - has anyone watching Suso closely may have picked up on his performances? He has started 21 times this season.
Pablo Sarabia. A left footed AM/Wing. Features in http://www.insidespanishfootball.com/92302/top-50-spanish-youngsters-1314-32-alvaro-vadillo-real-betis/ at number 32. Ex Real Madrid, perhaps a left footed Coutinho?
Lisandro Lopez. I remember reading good things about this kid back in about 2010 - a strong, technically sound centre back with decent ball skills. Can't find too much about him now after a quick look, but might have some decent skills to consider.
Niklas Stark. I have been unable to watch any of his performances, but he is a young DM who has broken into the first team this year. Has anyone seen much or heard much of this lad? He might be worth a look as a bit of depth to loan straight back out.
Josep Drmic. I see the Mirror already link us with this fellow. I had to watch his seasons highlights because I couldn't remember his performances and watching him I guess I know why. He doesn't look particularly special except he keeps scoring goals. 16 in 32 no less. He looks too slow or just quick enough in my layman's eyes. I can't make my mind up on him.
Jonathon Tah. A. man. mountain. Just might be a very good option for the EPL. A big ole unit who win's header after header. Haven't seen him live to truly determine whether the pace he has is enough for some of the quicker fleet footed teams in the league, but could very well be an excellent option against teams who like to make it physical.
Hakan Calhanglu. Again, I've seen us linked to this fellow as well. He looks like a very technically proficient player with very good vision. He looks to play through balls as well as shoot himself and has scored a few spectacular goals (in my humble opinion, I think he's created a lot of his own luck with a few of them!). Under Brendan's tutelage, he could be a cracking little player.
Timo Werner. Looks a prospect and a livewire. Would prefer him over Drmic on the few clips I've seen of him (whether that's crazy or not I don't know). Looks pretty versatile across the forward 3 but looks quite a prospect to me.
Moritz Leitner. Looks like a similar player to Henderson from what little I've seen of him - possibly a bit more tenacity n the tackle and more likely to play a long raking pass from deeper in the midfield, Leitner looks a decent player. Possibly with the players we have he doesn't provide enough of something different for us to take a serious look at him.
Antonio Rudiger. Looks like a good centre back, good at most things, but perhaps needing to keep a check on his discipline. Like may of the others, I haven't seen much of him, but any internet search tells me he is considered a bit of a prospect.