Top 5: Time to move on:
We take a look at five players who are in need of a move to kickstart their careers.
Jermain Defoe (Tottenham):
“It would be a dream, then having a good season and making sure I’m on the plane. To score the goals to help get us there, at Wembley, that would be speciaI.”
Such is the latest word from Defoe regarding his England team prospects for next summer’s World Cup.
But to be in Brazil, Defoe needs to cement a place in the Spurs team first. For the past two seasons Defoe has found game time increasingly limited with the additions of Emmanuel Adebayor and now Roberto Soldado.
Defoe is certainly one of the better finishers in the game, but at his age it’s crucial to be starting for his club to have a chance of ousting the likes of Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge et al.
Roy Hodgson does seem to have a soft spot for Defoe, naming him in recent England squads, but for Defoe’s benefit in the long-term, it’s time to say goodbye to the Lane and move to a club where he’s more valued as the main man.
Anderson (Manchester United):
“I think it’s a big season for me, However, I don’t want to say that and then pick up another injury. I have often started seasons well, played six or seven games and then got injured.” This was Anderson talking about his chances at the start of the season after a rare injury free pre-season.
Anderson first burst onto the scene with some impressive performances at United, noticeably against Steven Gerrard at Old Trafford a few years ago. United fans initially took to Anderson quickly and went about providing him with his own chant in relation to being better then Cesc Fabregas – how times have changed.
Anderson splits opinion somewhat. It’s remarkable that he has only managed 81 Premier League appearances in six years at old Trafford and scored just five goals. There have been concerns over his fitness, weight and attitude during that spell. The best thing for all parties concerned is to cut their losses.
Rumours are linking Anderson with a return to Brazil and with the chance to play in his homeland, albeit faint at this point, the sensible option points to an exit and a chance to start afresh.
Leighton Baines (Everton):
Baines has been arguably the most consistent left-back in the country in the last four years. Alongside Chelsea’s Ashley Cole, Baines has proven he’s a capable international defender with his England performances, but staying at Everton has hindered his chances of pushing on and showing his worth at a top club like Manchester United, with the added pressure and performing in the Champions League.
Alan Stubbs, coach at Everton, was recently quoted in regards to Manchester United’s well documented interest: He said: “Bainesy was never really an option to leave, the club had dug its heels in, but Bainsey had obviously said he'd like to go." Baines is well spoken of in regards to his professionalism and character, but if he’s to truly make it at the top then he should be selfish and push through a move.
Micah Richards (Manchester City):
It’s widely rumoured that the following exchange took place between Patrick Vieira and Micah Richards around 2011 when Vieira had not long been at City, when Vieira asked him what he wanted to achieve in the game: “I want to play for a successful City team and play for England too.”
“Really??” replied a surprised Vieira. “Then how come you're the last one onto the training pitch every day and the first one off it?”
Micah Richards was attracting admiring glances when he burst onto the scene at City in 2005. He was described as Gary Neville’s replacement in the England team by many in the press and current players, but Richards has failed to live up to the hype and the obvious talent he possesses.
If the apparent exchange with Vieira did take place then it would go some way to explaining why Richards has not pushed on in the past eight years. A combination of injury and the outstanding form of Pablo Zabaleta has prevented Richards from becoming City’s first choice right-back, but at the tender age of 25, Richards needs to be playing week in week out in order to continue to develop and force his way back into Roy Hodgson’s plans for the World Cup – something that does not look like changing at City anytime soon.
Emmanuel Frimpong (Arsenal):
“The boss at Arsenal, Mr Wenger, told me to come here and get some games because there is no point sitting on the bench at Arsenal,” the midfielder said. It can be said that sitting on the bench has become a feature of Frimpong’s career. With spells at Charlton, Fulham and Wolves, Frimpong is well travelled for someone who is only 21. Frimpong has been quoted in the past as saying he wanted to take Jack Wilshere’s spot. It’s unfortunate for Frimpong in some respects as Arsenal have always possessed an embarrassment of riches in midfield. That, combined with two serious injuries have hampered his progress and have led to him making the sum total of zero appearances in all competitions this season for Arsenal. A move away from the Emirates looks the best option for Frimpong, with Mesut Ozil, Wilshere, Gnabry and Mathieu Flamini to name a few, chances will be few and far between – if Frimpong really wants to emulate team mate Wilshere, then looking for pastures new would be the best option.
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