Frozen out: The players who haven’t even made a PL bench

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


Carl Jenkinson – We are not sure what is more surprising, that Carl Jenkinson is still only 26 or that he is a full England international. What is not surprising is that he has been restricted to Europa League and Carabao Cup football (at left-back, no less) after recovering from an ankle injury.


Jack Simpson – A mainstay on any list of players who need a loan, the 21-year-old is probably fifth-choice centre-back at Bournemouth. His only Premier League appearances remains the 72 minutes he played in a 4-0 defeat to Manchester City last December.

Aaron Ramsdale – There’s not a lot of fun to be had as Bournemouth’s third-choice goalkeeper; the only football he has played all season was for England’s Under-20 side. Send the poor bugger on loan, Eddie.


Ezequiel Schelotto – He is an actual Italian international and he is not in Brighton’s Premier League squad after the signing of Martin Montoya this summer. Astonishingly, he played 20 times in the Premier League last season without us ever being consciously aware of his existence. He is understandably keen to return to Italy in January.


Anders Lindegaard – Played twice against Aberdeen in Europa League qualifying and then Sean Dyche completed his triptych of England international goalkeepers and the Dane has been on the periphery ever since.

Adam Legzdins – Imagine being fifth-choice goalkeeper at Burnley at the age of 31.


Anthony Pilkington – Started one game in the Championship last season, did not go out on loan this summer and then was not named in Cardiff’s Premier League squad. They are lumbered.

Lee Tomlin – Ended last season on loan at Nottingham Forest, but then did not¬†go out on loan this summer and was not named in Cardiff’s Premier League squad.¬†They are lumbered.


Robert Green – Imagine being third-choice goalkeeper at Chelsea at the age of 38. It would be bloody brilliant.

Lucas Piazon – Five loan spells in seven years and yet he remains a Chelsea player. Just not a Chelsea player that Mauzio Sarri has any intention of actually playing. He has been linked with a return to Brazil with Corinthians at the grand old age of 24.

Emerson РA Carabao Cup and Europa League regular but the Italian international left-back is a distant second choice to Marcos Alonso in the Premier League. A reminder: He cost £18m.

Ethan Ampadu – At 18, he is a five-time Welsh international but he remains on the fringes at Chelsea, at least getting on the bench in the Europa League.

Callum Hudson-Odoi – Another 18-year-old, but this one started for Chelsea in the Community Shield back when Eden Hazard was still having a rest. He has since been trusted for 35 minutes in the Europa League.


Julian Speroni – He’s 39. He’s probably glad of the rest.

Jonny Williams – He’s 25. How the f*** is he only 25? He has played 76 minutes in the Carabao Cup in preparation for an inevitable loan spell at Ipswich in January.


Brendan Galloway – Simply not good enough for Everton. And apparently not even good enough for the Under-23s.


Luca de la Torre – Another full international (this time for the US) who is nowhere near Fulham’s first team despite Fulham being sh*te. Even a goal and two assists against Milwall in the Carabao Cup did him no real favours.


N/A – they have tried everybody.


Eldin Jakupovic – Leicester like collecting excellent goalkeepers and allowing them to rust. The poor Swiss sod has got no further than the Checkatrade Trophy this season. And yes, he is another international.

Yohan Benalouane РAppeared at the World Cup with Tunisia but is the fifth-choice centre-half at Leicester. He has played one Premier League game in the last two seasons.

Andy King – Another Premier League title winner, but this one did not even make it as far as Leicester’s 25-man Premier League squad. He still plays for Wales, mind.

Hamza Choudhury РSo far down the central midfield  rankings at Leicester that he can barely see Wilfred Ndidi and Nampalys Mendy in the distance.


Lazar Markovic – He cost ¬£20m and he started for Liverpool against Real Madrid in the Bernabeu. But now he does nothing apart from occasionally turn out in Premier League 2 and cause a furore by ‘liking’ a picture of Serbian flags in the aftermath of the Reds’ defeat to Red Star Belgrade.

Dominic Solanke – Another England international but – by our reckoning – he is seventh in line for a place in Liverpool’s front three. His only real football now comes for England’s Under-21s. Send him to the sodding Championship, Jurgen.


Brahim Diaz – This Spanish boy is going to be a star…somewhere else but Manchester City. Diaz opted to stay at City rather than go out on loan this season, but even two goals against Fulham in the Carabao Cup cannot get him any closer to the¬†first-team bench.


Diogo Dalot РA £19m right-back who is currently injured, but an excellent performance against Young Boys in the Champions League could not earn him a place on a Premier League bench. Why would it when you have Ashley Young?

Tahith Chong – Just 18 and seen as a key part of Manchester United’s future. But a place on the bench against Juventus has not been replicated in the Premier League for the young Dutchman. And people worry about Phil Foden…


Rob Elliot – No Premier League games in 2018 and yet he retains the No. 1 jersey. Seems a tad cruel.

Achraf Lazaar – “Other managers used to tell me that I have the qualities to play in a big team, but with Benitez is not the same,” says the Moroccan international left-back who spent last season on loan at Benevento but saw a deadline-day move to Genoa fall through this summer. If you are behind Javier Manquillo in the left-back pecking order, these are dark days.

Freddie Woodman – Fourth-choice goalkeeper kicking his heels until at least January after the club reacted to his refusal to sign a new deal with a refusal to allow him to leave on loan.


Fraser Forster РEarning about £70,000 a week to do bugger all as Alex McCarthy does all the work and Angus Gunn does all the sitting on the bench.

Jack Rose –

Sam Gallagher – Striker who has played 20 minutes in the Carabao Cup after Mark Hughes turned down a barrel-load of loan requests in the summer. “He wants to force himself into the first team and why not? That‚Äôs what you want from young players,” said Hughes before not giving him a single chance.


Georges-Kevin N’Koudou – Even with Tottenham down to the barest of bare bones, N’Koudou – who started two games on loan at Burnley last season – has not made it as far as a Premier League bench. He did play 27 minutes in the Carabao Cup last week, mind. Well done, Georges-Kevin. Or can we call you GK? Nope? Okay…


Younes Kaboul – Omitted from Watford’s Premier League squad by Javi Gracia. He said: “For me, Kaboul is a very good professional and person as well and I do not have any problem with him. The situation is that he is not in the squad and we have to understand this.” Cold.

Miguel Britos – Signed a one-year contract extension in May but has not been seen since. They have a lot of centre-backs.

Marvin¬†Zeegelaar –

The Dutchman was sent off in that game. Which surprised nobody who saw him in the Premier League last season. He is now Watford’s third-choice left-back after the summer signing of Adam Masina. And literally nobody could pick him out of a line-up.

Adalberto Penaranda – Watford are still waiting for a work permit for the Venezuelan, who failed to score a single goal while on loan to Malaga last season. Gracia has spoken in glowing terms about the 21-year-old but the wait goes on.

Pontus Dahlberg – An actual Swedish international goalkeeper who is yet to play for Watford…though imagine how excited he must have been to be on the bench for a Carabao Cup clash against Tottenham.


Reece Oxford – We are literally fed up of trying to understand what has happened to former teen sensation Reece Oxford. But he is expected to leave in January after half a season of Under-23 football.


Dominic Iorfa –¬†A 23-year-old product of the Wolves academy who has literally no chance of playing for Wolves again unless they drop down a division after a startling loss of form.

Ethan Ebanks-Landell – A 25-year-old product of the Wolves academy who has literally no chance of playing for Wolves again unless they drop down two divisions after a really startling loss of form.

Will Norris – Goalkeeper who is yet to make it past Checkatrade duty this season after making his Championship debut on the final day of last season in a bizarre 3-0 defeat to Sunderland.


Sarah Winterburn