Premier League XI: Football's forgotten men
A Premier League XI of those players who have gone under the radar at their respective clubs
Not everyone is an instant hit in the Premier League. Whilst some players hit the ground running and take England's top tier by storm, others who have secured their dream move learn the hard way that things don't always go to plan.
Here, we look at a Premier League XI made up of those who have fallen out of favour of their respective clubs, as we create an all-star line-up with football's forgotten men. But do you agree with the selections? Leave a comment and get in touch with your verdict!
Goalkeeper: Heurelho Gomes | Tottenham
Who would want to be a goalkeeper at Tottenham? They have Hugo Lloris, Brad Friedel & Gomes all vying for a first-team role. While most Spurs' fans would be thankful that he’s dropped down the pecking order at White Hart Lane, Gomes is still a good goalkeeper. Nevertheless, expect him to leave this summer.
Right-back: Paulo Ferreira | Chelsea
A Champions League winner who arrived at Chelsea with Jose Mourinho to form a Portuguese contingent in west London. He was a great defender, forming part of a solid back line as Chelsea dominated from 2004 to 2006. Ferreira has been out of the fray for a number of years now, but he doesn’t deserve to be an outcast and should join another club to continue his football career.
Center-back: Thomas Vermaelen | Arsenal
There is no question about Vermaelen's quality - the team captain is as good as his Belgium teammate Vincent Kompany, in my opinion. Wenger is probably tired of losing his best players, and could explain why Vermaelen has been in and out the side this season. Undervalued and under appreciated at Arsenal, he would be a great addition to any club.
Center-back: Martin Skrtel | Liverpool
Skrtel and club teammate Daniel Agger started this season as one of the best center-back pairings in the Premier League. But the ‘Brendan Rodgers revolution’ put a swift end to such talk, and he has now axed the Slovak international in favour of the more experienced Jamie Carragher. The blame should be on the manager, who came in with a 'total football' philosophy, encouraging defenders to pass the ball out from danger. While there is no doubting his defensive abilities, Skrtel is not the best footballer and has struggled to adapt to Rodgers’ new approach.
Left-back: Andre Santos | Arsenal
Who else? Currently away from the club on loan, Arsenal don't seem to miss their most recent flop. Nacho Monreal has stepped in and made the club's fans forget all about Santos and his (lack of) ability. But whilst they may claim he’s a liability, Santos is still a decent footballer who can have a positive impact elsewhere.
Right-wing: Nani | Manchester United
Nani is one of the Premier League’s most talented players, but it hasn’t worked out for him. While he’s spent most of the season injured, Ferguson doesn’t seem eager to bring him back into the starting XI whenever he’s fit. He has lost value over the past months, and it looks like his Old Trafford career is at an end.
Centre-midfield: Alou Diarra | West Ham
When Diarra joined West Ham, it was breaking news on almost every sports news channel. However, he now claims it as a waste of time and that ‘Big Sam’ lied to him. He was finally axed in January and took asylum in Rennes on a temporary basis. Diarra looked like a mercurial capture for Allardyce, having enjoyed successful spells with Bordeaux and Marseille, and has been capped over 40 times for France, holding his own in a midfield which has produced so many quality players.
Centre-midfield: Stephen Ireland | Aston Villa
When the big money arrived in Manchester City, Ireland was still one of City’s best players. Then he fell off the cliff, and now at Villa, he can’t break into the young team due to a combination of poor form and rotten luck with injury. Ireland can pop up and score crucial goals, but he’s been subdued for a few years now and needs to move on for regular first-team football.
Left-wing: Florent Malouda | Chelsea
The French winger can do some solid work for his team but his best days are behind him. Having been forced to watch from the sidelines at Stamford Bridge, the former France international is all but certain to move on at the end of the season, as his Chelsea contract looks set to expire without any fuss whatsoever.
Attacking-midfield: Andrey Arshavin | Arsenal
The Russian magician once scored four goals against Liverpool, leaving himself with high expectations to live up to. He hasn’t managed to replicate anything close to that, and the Arsenal attacker has confirmed he's leaving the Emirates this season.
Forward: Darren Bent | Aston Villa
Darren Bent has a habit of scoring on his debut, so any club wanting to sign this striker is likely to receive an immediate boost. But he’s struggled with injury this season and with Christian Benteke in fine form, there's no place for Bent in Villa's starting line-up. Bent has still been one of the best English strikers in terms of goals scored in the Premier League over the past few years, and he is a real handful in the area. He's still got what it takes to compete at the highest level, and there will be no shortage of potential suitors this summer.
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