Spurs record signing joins ex-Arsenal trio in the contract termination XI

Jason Soutar
Ndombele Pique Hazard
Tanguy Ndombele, Gerard Pique and Eden Hazard all had their contracts terminated.

Tottenham record signing Tanguy Ndombele makes it into our star-studded XI of players who had their contracts terminated, like Cristiano Ronaldo.

He makes it into quite the star-studded XI of write-offs.


GK: Mark Bosnich (Manchester United and Chelsea)
The only player Sir Alex Ferguson signed twice, Mark Bosnich is also the only player in this team to have a contract terminated twice. The Australian goalkeeper did not see eye to eye with Fergie and hours after his Manchester United deal was ripped up, he joined Chelsea.

Around 18 months after signing for the Blues, Bosnich had his contract terminated after he failed a drug test and received a nine-month ban from football.

Fun fact: Bosnich has one goal in 17 caps for Australia, scoring a late penalty in a 13-0 World Cup qualifier against the Solomon Islands.


RB: Emmanuel Eboue (Sunderland)
Known for his eccentricity, sense of humour, that fake Twitter account and being substituted on and off in the same match, Emmanuel Eboue is a Premier League cult hero.

While Arsenal fans will remember Eboue fondly, not everyone will. The Ivory Coast international was signed by Sunderland on March 9 in 2016, and was handed a one-year ban for failing to pay a former agent on March 31, meaning he was swiftly released without playing a single minute for the Black Cats.


CB: Gerard Pique (Barcelona)
Nine La Liga titles, seven Copas del Rey, four Champions Leagues, two UEFA Super Cups, three Club World Cups and one Premier League title. What a career Gerard Pique had.

But with Barcelona skint and Pique past his best, the player ended up retiring halfway through the 2021/22 season to save the club some pennies. As someone with many fingers in many pies, Pique knew he would survive financially, unlike his former club.

The real reason for Pique’s contract termination was actually because he fumbled the bag with Shakira, but let’s keep that on the down low.


CB: Daley Blind (Ajax)
Arsenal terminated the contracts of Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis in a short period of time, but for a bit of variety, we have included Daley Blind, whose Ajax contract was terminated in December 2022, six months early. Signed by Bayern Munich on a contract until the end of 2022/23, it is safe to say Blind landed on his feet.

He only played five times for Bayern before joining Spanish side Girona on another free transfer. He has been very good for the Spanish side, who unexpectedly fought for the La Liga title this past season.

After officially leaving Ajax, Blind decided to spill the beans on what happened in the lead-up to his exit. “It got to the point where I wasn’t even welcome at the club where I’ve walked around since I was seven,” he said.

“On Dec. 26, the management said they definitely did not want me at the restart of training sessions on the 27th and it came to contract termination.” Happy Christmas.


LB: Marcelo (Olympiacos)
Arguably the greatest left-back of all time, Marcelo left Real Madrid in 2022 to join Greek side Olympiakos, ending a 15-year career in the Spanish capital.

He lasted a lot less time in Greece, having his contract terminated after five months – one 36th of the time he was with Los Blancos. The decision was made to allow Marcelo to return to Brazilian side Fluminense, where he played before moving to Madrid in 2007.

Another ex-Arsenal man, Sead Kolasinac, could have been selected here.


CM: Tanguy Ndombele (Tottenham)
“Did you eat Istanbul?” was one particularly demeaning comment from a pundit as Ndombele laboured around the pitch for Galatasaray in the Champions League in September. It’s fair to say the Frenchman wasn’t treating his body in a manner in keeping with the mercurial talent we saw at Lyon and in fleeting moments at Spurs following his £55m arrival in the summer of 2019.

It was actually Jose Mourinho who gave Ndombele a run in the Spurs team, before essentially calling him lazy, at which point everything fell apart for the midfielder, who’s failed to rediscover his feet in loan spells at Lyon, Napoli and Galatasaray. The Saudi Pro League calls, Tanguy.

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CM: Jordan Henderson (Al Ettifaq)
It’s safe to say Henderson’s move to Saudi Arabia did not go down well at F365 headquarters and we all delighted in his unpaid wages, along with his struggles at Ajax and ensuing England snub.

The LGBTQ+ turncoat made it clear before the January transfer window that he wanted to leave Al Ettifaq. They reluctantly agreed to rip up the England international’s contract and quickly completed a move to the Dutch giants. Stevie G wasn’t happy.

READ MORESteven Gerrard ‘disappointed’ in Jordan Henderson? Unai Emery’s made him look a right mug


AM: Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)
There are still plenty of question marks lingering over the story of Mesut Ozil’s departure from Arsenal.

It is easy to assume the German simply fell out of favour under Mikel Arteta due to his on-field struggles, but there has to be more to it, even if he failed to impress for Fenerbahce and Istanbul Basaksehir after leaving the Emirates, which proved he was no longer good enough to play in the Premier League.

Ozil’s decision not to accept a voluntary 12.5% pay-cut during the Covid-19 pandemic might have affected his Arsenal future. The same applies to the player’s criticism of the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in China, which the club notably distanced themselves from.

After being left out of the Gunners’ Premier League and Europa League squads by Arteta, Ozil’s contract was ripped up in January 2021, allowing him to join the club he supported growing up: Fenerbahce.


RW: Eden Hazard (Real Madrid)
Failing at Real Madrid is nothing to be ashamed of, but joining Real Madrid for £105million (with only a year left on your contract) only to fail catastrophically and leave to become a free agent with a year left on your current deal, really is quite bad.

Obviously, Hazard had his injury and fitness problems at the Bernabeu, but his stint with the La Liga giants was extremely underwhelming. They were looking to get his massive salary off their wage bill for quite a while and managed to do so at the end of last season.


ST: Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
Cristiano Ronaldo decided to burn all of his Manchester United bridges during a controversial interview with Piers Morgan. His eyebrow-raising remarks about the club’s infrastructure, manager Erik ten Hag and former teammates such as Wayne Rooney gave the Red Devils’ hierarchy no choice but to get rid.

A mutual agreement to terminate Ronaldo’s contract was met and the Portuguese striker went on to join Al-Nassr in the Saudi Pro League. In May, Ronaldo said: “Step-by-step I think this league will be among the top five leagues in the world.” Steps have indeed been taken.


LW: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)
We had to include more than one Arsenal player. We probably could have done the whole XI of Gunners’ rejects, come to think of it.

Poor timekeeping was the last straw for Arteta, who said he had a “catalogue of misdemeanors” that would justify his decision to strip Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the Arsenal captaincy and then ultimately terminate his contract.

Not too long after signing a massive new contract, Aubameyang was released and joined Barcelona, before an inauspicious spell at Chelsea and is now banging goals in again for Marseille.