Premier League Boot Room: The stats, the facts, the tips and the teams
21:00 GMT, 27 April 2012
Which clubs have a Clint in their eyes
The stats say it all – but will Clint Dempsey get the chance he deserves at a top club next season
Since the beginning of last season only Robin van Persie with 45 goals and Wayne Rooney with 37 have scored more than Dempsey's 28 in the Premier League.
Louis Saha scored 13 league goals in the 2003-04 season but the American has surpassed that Fulham record with 16 so far this campaign. And this is all from playing mainly in midfield.
Dempsey has food for thought this summer. With just a year left on his contract, I would be amazed if a team in the top seven doesn't sign him. He can play on either flank, up front by himself, partner a forward, play in the hole and he gives 100 per cent every game.
There is a question about his pace and whether his type of player can go to the next level. But I'm amazed that Liverpool, for example, spent 35million on Andy Carroll and 16m on Jordan Henderson – players without real pedigree in the Premier League – but overlooked Dempsey, who would cost nothing like as much, knows the Premier League and has at least another three seasons at the top.
There's always a risk trying to move on to better things. Shaun Wright-Phillips moved from Manchester City to Chelsea and it didn't work. Steve Sidwell swapped Reading for Chelsea and barely played. David Bentley thought he could make the move from Blackburn to Spurs but that didn't work.
But at 29 Dempsey is ready. Because he's stayed at Fulham so long, he'll be in a strong position to move to a bigger club this summer.
Manchester United and City don't need him with their squads. But Everton are looking and Arsenal, Newcastle, Tottenham and Chelsea could all do with Clint Dempsey. He's got a big decision to make this summer.
Albion clash a chiller for Villa
What a game it's going to be in the Midlands with two of my old clubs going head to head – but I fear for Aston Villa. With Villa slipping down the table, West Brom have a part to play in their rivals' relegation struggle.
This is Villa's biggest game for years. After this, they've got to play Spurs at home and Norwich away, which are both games they could lose. If they don't get something at the Hawthorns, I'm really worried for the club that I played at for four years.
Horror show: Aston Villa have been on a desperate slide towards Premier League relegation
They've limped along all season and I thought they'd limp over the line. But they are going to be living on nerves if they don't beat West Brom and it could be disastrous.
The ramifications of relegation are enormous. They have looked down from their perch at West Brom for years but Baggies fans will be looking at this one and thinking they can win it.
I played on nerves in a relegation fight at Villa when Brian Little took over in 1994. We made it but I'm not sure if they will this season.