Frozen out: Premier League players not even on the bench

Date published: Thursday 9th November 2017 10:11 - Matthew Stead

Which players have failed to make the matchday squads for their Premier League clubs this season, despite being fit and (just about) able?


Chuba Akpom – His season in the first team amounts to 50 minutes in the Carabao Cup. But he’s no Eddie Nketiah.


N/A – Rhoys Wiggins hasn’t been on the bench in a Premier League game this season, but considering he underwent a second operation to straighten his knee in April, we’ll let him off.


Ales Mateju – The 21-year-old was expected to be loaned out immediately upon arriving this summer. He was not.
Henrik Bjordal – Despite spending last season on loan with IFK Göteborg, the 20-year-old stayed put this summer. He is surely delighted with his decision.
Soufyan Ahannach – The most pointless signing of the summer.


Fredrik Ulvestad – Last seen being substituted at half-time in a 2-0 defeat for Burnley’s Under 23s against their Crewe counterparts.


Wallace Oliveira – What does a hungover Chelsea fan do when asked to name their favourite 23-year-old Brazilian who joined the club in January 2013 yet has not played a single game? Wallace and vomit.
Matej Delac – Chelsea’s longest-serving player is on his way out. If Antonio Conte doesn’t start him in the Champions League final, we riot.
Eduardo – He can be on the bench for said Champions League final. It’s only fair.


N/A – Even Jordon Mutch has been in a Premier League match-day squad for Crystal Palace this season.


Luke Garbutt – Once a leading light of Everton’s production line, the left-back is now 24, and frozen out by the club’s last two managers. Unsie might give him a chance.


Ryan Schofield – Sarah Winterburn had never heard of him, which is presumably a bigger setback than not being on a Premier League bench.


Eldin Jakupovic – Why did they sign him?
Yohan Benalouane – And him?
Ahmed Musa – And him?


Lazar Markovic – Named in Liverpool’s Premier League squad, but not a sniff of a game. Reckon he’s still worth £20million?
Danny Ings – Scored four goals and assisted a further two in a 7-0 trouncing of Bristol City’s Under-23s last week. Ings probably can’t actually get better than that.


N/A – Twenty-two players have been part of a Manchester City Premier League match-day squad this season. Even Phil bloody Foden.


Joel Pereira – ‘Has the potential to be even better than’ David de Gea. Is not playing quite as often.
Luke Shaw – It’s all a bit sad, really.
James Wilson – The 21-year-old described a January loan move as “a possibility” last month. The legacy left by Ryan Giggs’ legendary four-game tenure erodes further.


Jack Colback – “Jack knows the situation,” said Rafael Benitez last week – the situation being that the pair fell out in the summer. Remember when he was called up for England?
Massadio Haidara – Has as many Premier League minutes as his good friend Callum McManaman this season.
Curtis Good – Curtis bad.


Josh Sims – Unlike me in my youth, Mauricio Pellegrino is refusing to play the Sims.
Florin Gardos – Was linked with Liverpool once. True story.
Jack Rose – Any Titanic fan’s favourite footballer was released by West Brom in the summer. There was probably a reason.


Thibaud Verlinden – “This is the first year really when we’ve had a number of young players that we feel, given a fair wind, will be able to progress and be Premier League footballers,” said Mark Hughes in July. Sure.
Ollie Shenton – As above.


Erwin Mulder – Things are getting strange, I’m starting to worry. This is not a case for Mulder, nor Scully.
Kenji Gorré – Spent time in both Manchester City and Manchester United’s academies, was a target for Arsenal and Chelsea in his youth, and had a trial at Celtic. Is also an international. For Curaçao.


N/A – Just as the Irishman before him, Paul O’Gazzaniga is following in the footsteps of Paul O’Pez by carving out a successful career as Tottenham’s third-choice goalkeeper.


Brice Dja Djedjé – Since he was signed by Watford for £3m in July 2016, the right-back has made as many first-team appearances as he has been omitted from Premier League squads (2).
Daniel Bachmann – Never made a single first-team appearance for Stoke in six years. Hoping to emulate that record at Vicarage Road.


N/A – Tony Pulis has even named the kids on a West Brom bench at least once. He’ll probably be blaming them for a record of three wins in their last 23 Premier League games.


N/A – Until David Moyes signs Joseph Yobo, he inherits a West Ham squad where every fit player has been afforded at least one chance.


Matt Stead

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