Man Utd, Arsenal, Everton: Who could miss their Olympic-bound stars the most?

Tokyo 2020

Although the two major international tournaments in world football are now over, the Olympics lie just around the corner. 

While fans in England may not always pay a huge amount of respect to football's role within The Games, there are a number of Premier League stars set to take part when the first round kicks off on Saturday. 

The likes of Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho, Neymar and Barcelona great Xavi have all lit up the Olympics and, although this summer's tournament is perhaps missing a star so big, plenty of familiar faces will line up in the Japanese capital between now and the 6th of August's final. 

Due to the coronavirus travel restrictions, we can reasonably expect most of them to miss the start of the domestic season in England, given those returning from amber list countries must self-isolate for 10 days when touching down. 

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With that in mind, GIVEMESPORT have ranked those likely to miss the start of the Premier League campaign by order of importance to their clubs. 

9) Daniel Arzani - Manchester City and Australia

While technically a Manchester City player, Daniel Arzani has never actually played for the club amid a flurry of loan spells away from the Etihad Stadium. 

Such is the glittering array of attacking options Pep Guardiola has on offer at City, it seems incredibly unlikely he ever will. 

8) Niels Nkounkou - Everton and France 

Although Niels Nkounkou has managed to break into the Everton first-team on eight occasions, the excellence of compatriot Lucas Digne at left-back has largely blocked his path. 

Although potentially a player for the future, it's hard to imagine Rafa Benitez struggling all too much without the youngster. 

Amad Diallo in action for Man Utd

7) Amad Diallo - Manchester United and Ivory Coast 

Although an injury to Marcus Rashford will limit Manchester United's options in attack ahead of the new campaign, the signing of Jadon Sancho should help manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Another young star potentially destined for the future, United can do without the winger for the time being. 

6) Eric Bailly - Manchester United and Ivory Coast 

On his day, Eric Bailly is perhaps a better partner for Harry Maguire, although injuries have been a major problem for the Ivory Coast international since joining the club in 2016. 

Still, with the presence of Victor Lindelof and potentially even the arrival of Raphael Varane should  give Solskjaer plenty of cover in central defence for the first few weeks of the season. 

5) Alexis Mac Allister - Brighton and Argentina

Given Brighton's inability to finish chances last season, missing a creative spark isn't exactly ideal ahead of the new campaign. 

Although Alexis Mac Allister was barely prolific in terms of goals and assists (registering 1 apiece across 21 Premier League appearances last season), Graham Potter's frontline aren't exactly blessed for goals as it is, so not having him in the squad could be a slight issue. 

Gabriel Martinelli in action for Arsenal

4) Gabriel Martinelli - Arsenal and Brazil 

A favourite amongst the supporters at Arsenal, Mikel Arteta doesn't fully seem to trust Gabriel Martinelli in the same way he does other emerging stars, such as Bukayo Saka and Emil Smith Rowe. 

Exactly why that is remains unclear, although one thing is obvious: Arteta needs to improve on his first full season in charge of the club. Attempting to do that without Martinelli, who scored twice in seven Premier League starts last time out, could be slightly more difficult than with the Brazilian in the squad. 

3) Douglas Luiz - Aston Villa and Brazil 

At their best, Aston Villa have one of the most multi facated midfields in the Premier League. 

Crucial to that is one Douglas Luiz, who started 32 of their 38 league games last season, all while amassing the most ball recoveries in the squad last time out (375, via FBREF).

Without him, Dean Smith has a hole to fill. 

2) Richarlison - Everton and Brazil 

Outside of Domininc Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison was Everton's most prolific forward last season. 

In a team who already struggle for goals and one going through a transition under a reasonably unpopular manager no less, missing out on the Brazilian's services from out wide could be a major problem. 

Chris Wood celebrates scoring for New Zealand

1) Chris Wood - Burnley and New Zealand 

If Chris Wood misses ANY of the Premier League season, Burnley will feel it. 

Their top scorer in each of the past two seasons, Sean Dyche's side have largely been greater than the sum of their parts during their longest-ever stint in the Premier League, so the idea of lining up without him should be of reasonable concern. 

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