There were a few more players on this list when we first did it in August, but some have still not found a seat on the bench even once. Players must have been fit and available for selection for more than half of the season…
Emiliano Martinez – Described by Arsene Wenger as “the future goalkeeper at this club” upon signing a new long-term deal in November, he remains firmly third-choice for now.
Matt Macey – He is very tall. So tall in fact that Arsenal’s official website even describes him as “giant goalkeeper Matt”. But he’s nowhere near the first team.
Yaya Sanogo – Blocked from joining Leeds on loan on transfer deadline day, presumably because Arsenal can’t do without his goals. Yes, he’s still still there.
Emerson Hyndman – Bournemouth’s first signing of the summer is the only member of their squad to not even make the bench.
Sean Dyche is on everyone’s Christmas list at Turf Moor. Tendayi Darikwa, Nick Pope, Kevin Long and Fredrik Ulvestad have not managed to play a single Premier League minute, but they have at least made the bench.
John Mikel Obi – Is it any wonder Manchester United want him?
Eduardo – The Portuguese described his summer move as “the opportunity of a lifetime”. Sure.
Marco van Ginkel – The poor bairn was set for a loan move to PSV before suffering a knee injury. Now completely recovered, he remains very much on the periphery.
Todd Kane – It would be an absolute d*ck move to point out that the Daily Mail suggested one Todd Kane as the ‘home-grown solution to Antonio Conte’s defensive problems at Chelsea’ as late as September 29, wouldn’t it?
Kwesi Appiah – Crystal Palace represents the Ghanaian’s six permanent club; he has been on ten loan spells since 2009. Can’t someone find Kwesi a home?
Darron Gibson – He only turned 29 in October. That’s weird.
Conor McAleny – He is 24, and has made two Premier League appearances in five years at Everton. That’s slightly less weird, but still weird.
Tyias Browning – The Toffees are doing so well defensively that Ronald Koeman can’t find room for his highly-rated 22-year-old.
Oumar Niasse – The Checkatrade Trophy is his home. Or at least it was until Everton were knocked out last month.
Leandro Rodríguez – He was told he can find a new club in August. The search is presumably ongoing heading into January.
Brian Lenihan – Erm…
Yohan Benalouane – How will they cope when he heads off to the African Cup of Nations?
Mamadou Sakho – You can record yourself doing as many shuttle runs in your own home as you want, mate. Jurgen doesn’t want you.
Tiago Ilori – When the Portuguese joined Aston Villa on loan last season, Tim Sherwood described the signing as a “no brainer”. He did not make a Premier League appearance for the club and was named on the bench once. He’s not even managed that this campaign.
Angus Gunn – Good enough to make the bench for the home win over Barcelona in November; not good enough to make a Premier League matchday squad.
Sam Johnstone – Good enough to make the bench for the historic victories over Zorya Luhansk and Northampton Town; not good enough to make a Premier League matchday squad.
Tomas Meijas – Victor Valdes has a lot to answer for. Brad Guzan has played just two games. Dimitrios Konstantopoulos has gone from playing every minute to playing none. And then there’s poor Tomas Meijas…
Carlos de Pena – Boro spent £2.6million on the winger in September 2015. Just over a year later, and he has spent his first season in England’s top flight losing four and drawing one of his five appearances for the Under-23s.
Florin Gardos – A knee injury ruled him out until October, but the central defender is still yet to appear on a bench despite playing five games for the Under-23s.
Daniel Bachmann – Yet to make his competitive debut for Stoke in any competition. He joined them in 2011.
Dionatan Teixeira – A role model for all the Slovak-Brazilians looking to break into the Premier League without ever playing a game.
David Moyes loves you all. All 32 of Sunderland’s first-team squad have made at least one Premier League bench.
Mark Birighitti – Third-choice goalkeeper. Just as he was in August.
Gerhard Tremmel – Fourth-choice goalkeeper. Just as he was in August. Old. Just as he was in August.
Paul O’Pez – Supposed Spaniard but actual Irishman O’Pez joined Tottenham on loan in the summer. Michel Vorm has been pointing and laughing at him ever since.
Rene Gilmartin – How does Rene Gilmartin feel about being third-choice goalkeeper at Watford? “People talk about the glass being half-empty or half-full, but I never give a s*** about how much is in the glass.” So there.
Giedrius Arlauskis – How does Giedrius Arlauskis feel about being fourth-choice goalkeeper at Watford? I don’t actually know; he hasn’t said much about it.
Callum McManaman – Matty Phillips has finally proven that a winger can flourish under Tony Pulis, but McManaman has no chance.
The Hammers have suffered so many injuries that even Alex Pike, Marcus Browne and Domingos Quina have made the bench, and none of that trio have an official squad number.