Premier League players who are way past their prime

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5) Samuel Eto’o

He was once widely regarded as one of the best strikers in the world during his time with Barcelona and Inter Milan, a period which saw him win three Champions League medals and score 182 goals in 302 matches for the two clubs.

However, now Samuel Eto’o has failed in making an impact for his newest club Chelsea this season.

The four time African player of the year does not have the consistency in him to score every week. And,  at the age of 32, we see a player whose sharpness seems to have disappeared, and his bursting pace in the attack not the same anymore. The spark in the Cameroonian seems to have vanished.

4) Michael Essien

Arguably one of the most powerful central defensive midfielders Chelsea have ever had. The man from Ghana has unfortunately had a career shrouded with horrific injuries, which left him out for a number of months.

He scored some memorable goals including his screamer against Barcelona in the Champions League in 2009, and a thunderbolt against arch rivals Arsenal. It seems obvious that Essien is unable to produce creativity and unexpected goals in the middle of the park, as a result the Ghanaian is currently only good enough for a spot on the bench under his favourite manager Jose Mourinho. The midfielder we once knew has very much gone now.

3) Stewart Downing

Could have been a potential star for England as his darting pace on the left flank was an extreme threat for the opposition. His prime years were with Middlesbrough and Aston Villa in 2002 and 2009, as he was such an impressive talent who completely wasted it after catastrophically signing for Liverpool in 2011.

Downing was largely criticised for his performances in a red shirt, and it was noticeable that his poor spell with them defined his career.

At the age of 29 most footballers will still be in their prime, unfortunately for Downing there is no signs of a comeback player.

 2) Brad Friedel

Spent the majority of his career with the likes of Liverpool, Blackburn and Aston Villa, Friedel has been an extremely consistent performer throughout his footballing life, but it’s fair to say that the American is way past his prime now.

The 42-year-old still playing as a back-up goalkeeper for Spurs, although his slow reactions and reflexes are simply too much for a man at his age to handle.

1) Rio Ferdinand

Signed for Manchester United in a record-breaking deal over £30million from Leeds, the former England international was considered as one of the best defenders United have ever had.

His partnership alongside Nemanja Vidic in his prime years was excellent, however the 34-year old has lost that ‘electric yard of pace’ as Sir Alex Ferguson once mentioned.

During the Moyes era, Ferdinand has not featured much in the Premier League and his passive performances at the back means he can only fight for his place this season. The player who was once a frequent player for England does not have the capability to play regularly in the big occasions.

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Stewart Downing
Rio Ferdinand
Brad Friedel
Premier League
Michael Essien

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