After a busy transferperiod for many Premier League clubs, several managers will be looking to complete any unfinished business in time for the start of the new season this weekend.
For a number of players, their future with their clubs remains to be resolved, and with 123 players being released from their clubs earlier in the window, a large number of these remain free agents going into the new campaign. While many will be eager to stay and fight for a place at their club, it seems their managers may have already decided their fate.
At the peak of their careers this lot may well have stood a chance in the Premier League, but now their careers have gradually deteriorated in recent years, and it is therefore perhaps less surprising to see that other clubs have shown such a lack of interest.
In goal we have one of the most inconsistent and unreliable keepers to have graced the Premier League.
Arsenal have struggled to find consistency between the posts in recent years, but Manuel Almunia was quickly recognised as one of the serious liabilities in the side and his errors often cost his side dearly. With 21-year-old Wojciech Szczesny now Arsenal’s preferred first choice keeper, Almunia is likely to make the bench at best this season, and a lack of interest in the Spaniard was to be expected.
At 32 years of age, Paulo Ferreira’s 7 year spell at Chelsea looks to be entering its final stages. Since the departure of Jose Mourinho, Ferreira has failed to hold down a first-team place and has only really been brought in to cover for his injured teammates. With Jose Bosingwa and Branislav Ivanovic both available and offering more to the Chelsea side, Ferreira looks set to face another season on the sidelines.
Despite almost 20 years experience in the Premier League, Sol Campbell has failed to find a new club after being released by Newcastle at the end of May. Once considered one of England’s finest centre-backs, Campbell has struggled to keep himself in shape or at the fitness level required in the Premier League, and his lackluster performances on the field last season seem to have put off any potential employers.
At left-back we have our first of the Manchester City outcasts. Wayne Bridge has struggled to land a first team spot at City since Mancini took charge, and was loaned out to West Ham last season where he failed to show anything close to the ability he once had at Chelsea.
Now 31, Bridge has been unable to attract any other Premier League clubs, and the signing of Gael Clichy will inevitably limit his chances of regular football at City even further.
Since joining Tottenham in 2008, David Bentley has failed make an impression at White Hart Lane and was loaned out to Birmingham City last season, where even there he struggled to land a first-team place. At just 26, Bentley does still have the potential to be a Premier League player, but while he is at Spurs his first team opportunities are almost certainly going to be limited.
After moving to Liverpool last summer, there was an air of optimism surrounding Joe Cole, however a season of mediocre performances at his new club have left him seeking a way out of Anfield. Kenny Dalglish has brought in Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam, and Stewart Downing to bolster his midfield, and with Steven Gerrard and Lucas likely to feature regularly, Cole’s brief spell at Anfield is almost certain to be coming to an end. The midfielder may have to take a pay-cut if he leaves, but is likely to attract interest from a number of Premier League clubs should he do so.
El Hadji-Diouf is undoubtedly one of the ‘most hated’ footballers in the Premier League and has sparked controversy throughout his career, wherever he has played. Now 30, Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean has claimed that the troublesome forward is on his way out of Ewood Park, though an apparent lack of interest from other clubs seems to have stalled his departure for the time being. Diouf failed to report for pre-season training with Blackburn and seems to be intent on leaving the club as well, though clubs are hardly going to be queuing up for his services.
Thomas Kenny writes regularly for Football FanCast.Com and FootballTransferTavern.com
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