13 players you definitely forgot were still in Premier League clubs
Premier League squads have plenty of players, including some you may have forgotten about.
Premier League squads are now so big and clubs are so rich that the incentive to offload the deadwood is great but often difficult. Many squad players may be on favourable terms and so trying to find them a move elsewhere proves difficult, so they just stay where they are. They don’t play, and then they fall out of our memory.
Here are 13 of the Premier League’s most “wait, he’s still there?” men:
Arsenal, 26 years old
Yes, Big Jenks, possibly the last of the Arsenal meme players, is still at Arsenal. A remnant of a bygone era in more than one way, Jenkinson never really cut the mustard at the Emirates even though his impassioned plea to Theo Walcott to actually defend in Arsenal’s 8-2 loss to Manchester United will go down in history.
Arsenal, 22 years old
Remember 2017 when Arsenal signed this young left-back basically because he was blisteringly fast? It was kind of like what Arsene Wenger did with Gael Clichy, except Arsene Wenger just didn’t have the sauce anymore. Bramall played a bit in pre-season and was then loaned out. Away from Wenger’s guidance, he failed to grow, and Arsenal have failed to offload him since Wenger’s departure.
Burnley, 34 years old
If you cast your mind back, you will actually remember a time when Sir Alex Ferguson dropped David De Gea for Anders Lindegaard. It was a wild and hectic time in the world. Lindegaard signed for Burnley just over a year ago, yet only debuted in July 2018, as a sub, in Europa League qualifying. He played one more game in Europe and hasn’t featured since. Even so, with Joe Hart, Tom Heaton and Nick Pope all ahead of him in the Turf Moor pecking order, you could make an argument that Lindegaard is the world’s best fourth-choice goalkeeper.
Chelsea, 24 years old
Hey, remember when Chelsea signed Emerson Palmieri to be Marcos Alonso’s back-up? No, us neither. He did very little in his first half-season and has only featured in the League Cup and Europa League this season. That said, he signed for Chelsea just one month after returning to fitness after an ACL injury, which means he probably won’t reach 100% sharpness until January 2019. So watch out for this guy in the run-in!
Chelsea, 24 years old
In addition to cultivating the best youth academy in the country, Chelsea also went through a period of signing great young talents. Lucas Piazon was one such talent. A future genius, the new Kaka! Well, not exactly. He’s been on more loans (5) than he has played games for Chelsea (3) and was last seen playing for Fulham in the Championship. Yet he’s still somehow bound to the Blues!
Leicester, 30 years old
When Leicester signed Iborra, it made a lot of sense. They had depth in defensive midfield but no one as enormous as Iborra. Yet the Spaniard never really settled in the Midlands; but instead of absconding back to La Liga as Roque Mesa did, he’s stuck around apparently. Maybe Jamie Vardy’s parties are really great?
Liverpool, 23 years old
Divock Origi was once ready to explode as a next-level talent under Jurgen Klopp. Then he didn’t, because he’s not a next-level talent. He is a good striker, though, and has generally done quite well on his loans away from Merseyside. Yet the Reds never shifted him out this summer, and he’s still there, training and watching assorted teenagers pass him in the pecking order.
Liverpool, 24 years old
One of the more inexplicable wastes of talent in the Premier League, Lazar Markovic should have been magnificent. But Jurgen Klopp has had as much interest in playing him as he does with playing slow, patient, possession football. Markovic was on loan to Anderlecht this year and was supposed to move back there permanently. Yet the deal fell through (some say over money, Markovic says otherwise) so now he remains at Liverpool, unregistered and unnumbered.
Manchester City, 27 years old
Mangala should have been a colossus for Manchester City, but something just never clicked for him in the Premier League. Every now and again he had a run of games where you thought it’d come good, but no. You’d figure his contract would have run out by now (he signed for City in 2014!) but no, there’s still time to go on whatever megabucks offer he was given. So he’s gonna chill and ride that deal out.
Newcastle United, 22 years old
Rolando Aarons should have been Newcastle’s next big thing, but sometimes talent doesn’t coalesce in the way you want. In the end, despite the incredible promise of his debut as a teenager, Aarons was just a dude. People will remember him from back then and will assume he has moved on somewhere, but no, he’s still a Magpie – even if he has managed to secure a loan FC Slovan Liberec.
Spurs, 24 years old
Oh goodness, where to begin? Signed to be a back-up to Harry Kane but was so comically inept at everything (save penalties) that he became a joke. Pochettino had no use for him, so he spent last season loan in Turkey. If you’re thinking he was sold this summer, you’d be wrong. Yeah, sure, he’s not registered in Spurs’ Premier League squad, nor does he have a shirt number, but he’s there. No, seriously!
Watford, 29 years old
One of the many strikers that Watford have paired with Troy Deeney, Okaka looked like he could be the real deal for a hot minute there. He scored on the opening day of last season in a 3-3 draw with Liverpool but hasn’t found the back of the net since. In fairness, he’s also barely played since then as the Hornets have found other, better options. Though Watford haven’t sold him, and apparently even turned down an offer from Bursaspor to loan him. Maybe he’s really funny?
West Ham, 19 years old
Reece Oxford wasn’t just tipped to be West Ham’s next big thing, but also England’s. Oxford made his Hammers Premier League debut in a 2-0 away win at Arsenal in 2015 at the tender age of 16 but put in the kind of performance you’d expect from an experienced 30-year-old. Since then, however, things just haven’t ignited for Oxford with loan spells at Reading and Monchengladbach proving to be wholly unsuccessful. Oxford’s big saving grace, though, is that he still just 19-years-old and may yet discover the key to unlock his undeniable talent.