Are Premier League players becoming too comfortable with sitting on the bench?

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Football News

We see it almost every transfer window - high-profile players moving to big clubs for big money presumably harbouring every intention of playing a major part in their new club’s inevitable success.

They’ve performed well and shone for teams lower down the league and have therefore attracted the attention of the Premier League’s elite to earn the move they have worked so hard for. The career progression is natural, surely?

Well, in an ideal world this would be the case, but for a few players that isn’t always the way it works.


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Most fans would agree that football is a fickle sport; players and managers can be a hero and saviour one week but a villain the next.

It’s this fickleness that has a habit of rearing its head during the chaos of a transfer window and sometimes leaves the fans wondering why on earth that player has moved to that club.

We’re frequently left scratching our heads as important, quality players leave a club where they play week in, week out for a life of warming the bench.

The biggest case in point? Chelsea.

The west Londoners have a bit of a player-hoarding problem with countless players on their books, many of which on loan across Europe. The problem doesn’t stop at those out on loan, though - the first team squad has a few headscratchers of differing circumstances too.

Firstly, there’s the case of Radamel Falcao. The Colombian had a season to forget at Manchester United last term but, perhaps owing to unwavering self-confidence, accepted another loan deal with the Blues to compete with Diego Costa, who had just enjoyed a blistering debut season in the Premier League.

Unfortunately for Falcao, he hasn’t been able to re-kindle his old Atletico Madrid partnership with the Spaniard through a mixture of poor form and injuries. The overriding point here, however, is that no one was particularly surprised by this.

Loic Remy is another competing with Costa and joined in the same summer as his Spanish teammate after an impressive season-long loan at Newcastle United. Again, considering Chelsea are a team that almost always play with one striker, it seems an awful waste of his undoubted talent.

The Frenchman has only featured 42 times in a year and a half for a club that competes on all four fronts. That being said, a move away from Stamford Bridge was heavily rumoured in January with the Independent linking him with a move to table-topping Leicester City.

It would appear the France International is at least considering other options, realising that usurping Costa as the club's first choice is unlikely.

With Remy’s apparent realisation in mind, the latest addition to Chelsea’s striking ranks also feels a bit strange. Hiddink signed Alexandre Pato on loan from Corinthians last month for the remainder of the season as the Brazilian looks to re-ignite his career.

While his ambition can only be commended, you can’t help but think that the former AC Milan man would have been better served moving to a lesser club - one that would guarantee him game time and help the 26-year-old achieve what he’s moved to England to achieve.

Manchester City's Wilfried Bony finds himself in a similar situation. Sure, the Ivorian is at a big club that is only getting bigger following the appointment of Pep Guardiola but, as a proven Premier League goalscorer, he’s restricting himself to a back-up role behind the brilliant Sergio Aguero.

There’s no shame in being number two to the Argentine, but Bony is 27 and approaching his prime as a footballer - he should be at a club where he is playing every week.

The above examples are somewhat curious. Are these players happy to sit on the bench earning their thousands despite missing out on the action? Or are they eternal optimists, confident of forcing their way into their respective sides through impressing in training and limited appearances?

Either way, the wealth of under-used talent sat on the sidelines suggests the sad reality that money really is the most important object.

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Premier League
Didier Drogba

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