Laters, yeah? One per club who would not be missed

Date published: Saturday 25th July 2020 9:26 - Will Ford


Not everyone on this list will leave their club this summer. But through a mix of performance level, potential fee, age and wages, they would not be missed. Here’s last years list in full.


ARSENAL – Mesut Ozil
Arsenal are lacking creativity in midfield, but it won’t come from Mesut Ozil. Mikel Arteta is constantly asked why the German playmaker doesn’t feature for his side, and either obfuscates or gives cryptic answers instead of the stark reality: he does not give a sh*t. He probably won’t leave – no club would be stupid enough to meet his ludicrous wage demands – but Arteta and now the vast majority of Arsenal fans would love to see the back of him.

Last year: Shkodran Mustafi. He stayed and is making slightly fewer mistakes under Mikel Arteta.


ASTON VILLA – Henri Lansbury
The Arsenal academy graduate played more this season in the Premier League than he did in the Championship, but 187 minutes isn’t enough. Whether Villa escape relegation or not, Lansbury needs to drop down a tier.


If Fraser hadn’t sulked all season, Bournemouth probably wouldn’t be in a relegation battle. Seven goals and 14 assists last season had Arsenal among others vying for his signature. But with the toys jettisoned from the pram and just one goal and four assists in this campaign, it’s all gone a bit quiet on the transfer front. He won’t find sympathy here.

Last year: Asmir Begovic. He went on loan to Milan; he was not missed.


BRIGHTON – Alireza Jahanbakhsh
His wondergoal to earn a point against Chelsea on New Year’s Day looked like it could kickstart his Brighton career, but the Iranian has started just two games since and Graham Potter may now look to recoup some of the club record £17million they spent on the 26-year-old in the summer of 2018.

Last year: Markus Suttner. He joined Stuttgart; he was not missed.


BURNLEY – Robbie Brady
At 28 the winger still has plenty to offer, and looks capable whenever he does play, but he just won’t get in the team while Dwight McNeil is at Turf Moor. A possible return to Norwich to lend a hand in their bid to bounce back to the Premier League could be on the cards.

Last year: Stephen Ward. He joined Stoke; he was not missed.


The Spanish legend is off to Roma, where he will presumably win the Serie A title; he’s won pretty much everything else. A brilliant footballer and a consummate professional, it will be sad to see him go, but he will leave Stamford Bridge with the respect and love of the Chelsea fans.

Last year: Gary Cahill. He joined Crystal Palace and they have conceded five fewer goals than Chelsea.


CRYSTAL PALACE – Connor Wickham
Both Connor Wickham and Alexander Sorloth have been sent out on loan by Palace this season, a damning indictment considering their lack of goals. And while Palace will be frantically trying to find an escape clause in the two-year loan of Sorloth – he’s scored 31 goals for Trabzonspor – Wickham’s time is surely up.

Last year: Bakary Sako. He joined Pafos FC; he was not missed.


EVERTON – Yannick Bolasie
Bolasie has said he is keen to force his way back into the Everton team, but he just doesn’t seem like a Carlo Ancelotti player – he’s fun but frustrating. The Toffees paid Crystal Palace £25million for his services in 2016 and he has spent much of the time since on loan at Aston Villa, Anderlecht and Sporting. Transfermarkt now put his value at just over £4million; Everton may struggle to get that much.

Last year: Cenk Tosun. Has barely played and finally looks set to return to Turkey.


LEICESTER CITY – Marc Albrighton
He cost them nothing and won them a Premier League title. Leicester’s very own James Milner has started just eight games for Leicester this season and is still good enough to play in the Premier League but may have to do so elsewhere. A classic promoted club signing? An assist for Jamie Vardy to seal a Champions League spot on Sunday would be the ideal swansong.

Last year: Danny Simpson. He joined Huddersfield; he was not missed.


LIVERPOOL – Adam Lallana
Jurgen Klopp again showed his ‘class’ as he waited to lift the Premier League trophy with Adam Lallana. The former Southampton player was part of the blueprint for Klopp’s Liverpool if not part of the finished product, and the German boss knows that better than anyone. There should be a big battle from lesser Premier League clubs to have him initiating their press next season.

Last year: Alberto Moreno. He joined Villarreal; he really was not missed.


Of course he will be missed, by Man City, their fans and everyone who recognises beauty on a football pitch when they see it – but apparently he needs to leave to make room for Phil Foden. He’s been linked with a return to Valencia – the club he left to join City in 2010 – and he will no doubt continue to see and play passes mere mortals could barely dream of. Forget about Birmingham’s No.22, if anyone deserves a shirt being retired, it’s Manchester City’s No.21.

Last year: Eliaquim Mangala. He joined Valencia; he was not missed even though City were sh*t at the back.


If a club has the stones to sign Phil Jones amid inevitable memes of mad facial expressions and the potential for the odd hilarious stumble, they could have a perfectly serviceable centre-back on their hands. He’s not good enough for United – he’s made just two Premier League appearances this season – but he’s not utterly useless.

Last year: Alexis Sanchez. He joined Inter Milan on loan; he was not missed.


There could well be a big overhaul at St James’ Park this summer. But whether this long-proposed takeover happens or not, it should be the end for Christian Atsu. Just three goals and seven assists in three Premier League seasons: he’s a mediocre winger with no end product. Allan Saint-Maximin’s performances for the Toon have illustrated just how poor the back-ups are.

Last year: Joselu. He joined Alavez; he was not missed.


NORWICH CITY – Moritz Leitner
The German midfielder started seven of Norwich’s opening 10 Premier League games, but hasn’t featured since. Canaries fans will know that when Leitner is good, he’s very good, but those occasions are too few and far between.


The bizarre acquisition of the good gone bad – Jack Rodwell and Ravel Morrison – didn’t work. What next for Rodwell? A memoir would probably sell pretty well. A move to Galatasaray or similar would make a great final chapter.


SOUTHAMPTON – Sofiane Boufal
The Morocco international has started just eight games under Ralph Hasenhuttl this season, with the German boss preferring dynamic, pressing forward players. He could do well in a side that can afford him as luxury, but Southampton is not that team.

Last year: Wesley Hoedt. He joined Royal Antwerp on loan; he was not missed.


TOTTENHAM – Juan Foyth
With Japhet Tanganga set to sign a new deal under Jose Mourinho, Juan Foyth looks surplus to requirements. Barcelona were interested, apparently, but newly promoted Leeds provide a more likely landing spot.

Last year: Vincent Janssen. He joined Monterrey; he was not missed.


WATFORD – Andre Gray
The striker is behind Troy Deeney, Danny Welbeck and Ismaila Sarr in the Watford pecking order, and with promising 18-year-old Joao Pedro – signed from Fluminese in January – also waiting in the wings, the Hornets have too many strikers. Gray may have to drop into the Championship if he is to realistically find some game time.

Last year: Miguel Britos. He retired; he was not missed.


WEST HAM – Jack Wilshere
He will forever be crocked, and is better off making his inevitable move to the MLS now, rather than waiting another couple of years when he has literally lost his legs. A former England international who once had a very good game against Barcelona – they will bloody love him.

Last year: Andy Carroll. He returned to Newcastle; he was not missed.


WOLVES – Ryan Bennett
Nuno Espirito Santo didn’t half make this difficult. He’s only used 20 players in the Premier League, and two of those are no longer at the club. Ryan Bennett is set to return to Wolves after half a season on loan at Leicester and is the only player Nuno appears comfortable enough to be without.

Last year: Leo Bonatini. He joined Guimaraes; he was not missed.



Will Ford is on Twitter

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