We’re excluding goalkeepers but here’s one outfield player per most Premier League clubs who is yet to play a minute…
ARSENAL: Cedric Soares
Hard to envision a situation where the 32-year-old right-back starts a Premier League game but it’s no longer hard to envision a situation where the 32-year-old right-back ends up on the bench: A raft of injuries among left-sided forwards led to a third right-back in the match-day squad against Tottenham.
He did at least get three minutes in the Carabao Cup and then a massive 69 minutes in the EFL Trophy as the old man among the kids in a 5-0 win over Exeter City. Whoop.
ASTON VILLA: Kortney Hause
The 28-year-old centre-back and former England Under-21 international has not played more than ten minutes for Aston Villa since January 2022 under former manager Steven Gerrard. A Championship loan spell with Watford featured only three appearances and left potential suitors – said to include West Brom – with the impression that his fitness is a major issue.
BOURNEMOUTH: Gavin Kilkenny
“I think he has given himself a chance,” said manager Andoni Iraola of a player who had underwhelming loans at Stoke City and Charlton last season. But the truth is that injuries gave Kilkenny a chance to get on the bench, but with Tyler Adams and Alex Scott coming back towards fitness, the Irishman will drop further down the pecking order. When you’re not even getting onto the pitch in the Carabao, you have to be looking towards the January exit door.
BRENTFORD: Charlie Goode
Joined the Bees in 2020 for around £1m but last played for them in 2021 before loan spells with Sheffield United and Blackpool. Rather sweetly still has the No. 4 shirt despite being – we think – seventh-choice centre-half.
Once Igor had started v Liverpool, that made it a ludicrous 25 Brighton players who have featured in the Premier League this season. There is surely nobody left in the general vicinity of the south coast that has not played for the Seagulls.
BURNLEY: CJ Egan-Riley
When 23 players have already notched Premier League minutes, you are probably buggered if you are out of that club. And CJ Egan Riley is definitely out of that club and presumably counting the minutes until he can return to Hibs on loan.
CHELSEA: Malang Sarr
Reportedly earning £100,000 a week not to be in Chelsea’s Premier League squad. Some life.
CRYSTAL PALACE: Rob Holding
Joined Palace for first-team football but has found Joachim Andersen and Marc Guehi as immovable as Gabriel and William Saliba. But at least he played 90 minutes of a 3-0 defeat to Manchester United in the Carabao Cup. Good times.
EVERTON: Andre Gomes
“I think he is a very good footballer and I think he has shown that down the years,” said Everton boss Sean Dyche. Obviously not good enough to push past Tyler Onyango onto the bench but good enough to play a weighty role in Ligue Un for Lille last season.
FULHAM: Tyrese Francois
The Australian midfielder played a few minutes in Fulham’s Carabao Cup win over Tottenham but not yet trusted from the bench in the Premier League for the Cottagers.
LIVERPOOL: Stefan Bajcetic
The Reds have overhauled their midfield and there does not seem to be a role for the 18-year-old, who has been relegated to sixth or seventh choice after his breakthrough season. There was a start in the Europa League v LASK but he was given the hospital pass of an inverted right-back role and was hauled off after an hour.
LUTON TOWN: N/A
Injuries to Dan Potts, Jordan Clark and Gabriel Osho have left them as the only senior players yet to taste the Premier League.
MANCHESTER CITY: N/A
This is not a big squad after the late exits of Aymeric Laporte, Cole Palmer, Maximo Perrone and James McAtee. Even Kalvin Phillips has played some Premier League football.
MANCHESTER UNITED: N/A
Even Donny van de Beek has been dragged off the bench as desperate times absolutely called for desperate measures.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Paul Dummett
Made it to the bench for the Premier League and Champions League but his only first-team action has come – at centre-half – in a Carabao Cup win over Manchester City. Now that’s a pretty bloody good 100% win record.
NOTTINGHAM FOREST: Andrey Santos
Arrived on loan from Chelsea to play Premier League football. Has not played Premier League football. Did at least play in the Carabao Cup but a 1-0 defeat to Burnley did nothing for his PL prospects.
SHEFFIELD UNITED: Ismaila Coulibaly
Even with a ridiculous injury list, the Mali international has only one got as far as the bench for the Blades in the Premier League. His performance in Carabao Cup defeat to Lincoln City convinced nobody he should get a chance.
TOTTENHAM: Eric Dier
Nine years and well over 300 games into his Tottenham career, Dier is confined to the bench, watching Cristian Romero and Micky van de Ven be really rather good. The excellent news for Dier is that surely they cannot stay fit for the whole season and he should be the next cab off the rank.
WEST HAM: Ben Johnson
Played 17 Premier League games last season but on the periphery of this campaign and will be allowed to leave with his contract expires next summer. Did at least get a Carabao Cup start v Lincoln City.
WOLVES: Joe Hodge
Played six Premier League games last season without anybody (but Joe Hodge) noticing.