10 players we can't believe are still at Premier League clubs

The transfer window has been and done, but this deadwood bunch are still with top-flight clubs and surely set for a season of benchwarming... at best

Mathieu Debuchy (Arsenal)

Arsenal did their best to offload the Frenchman to Brighton towards the end of the transfer window, but those efforts followed a similar pattern to others from the Gunners this summer – in failure.

Debuchy hasn’t played for Arsene Wenger’s side since November 2016, when he injured his hamstring against Bournemouth, and is quite clearly surplus to requirements on a reported £70k per week. He’s played only 23 times since joining from Newcastle for £12m in summer 2014. 

Stuart Taylor (Southampton)

A new contract this summer for the banter-loving benchwarmer, who appeared in a brilliant video to announce it (below). The 36-year-old is an unapologetic third-choice goalkeeper who hasn't cared about playing football since about... er, has he ever? ... and yet, he's hardly been without a club since making his senior breakthrough in 1999. 

Since then, Taylor has played 95 professional games in 17 seasons – a quite marvellous average of less than six appearances per season. He's going into his second season at Southampton, but hasn't had to play a proper match since starting the final three games of 2014/15 at Leeds. What a way to make a living. 

Lee Chung-yong (Crystal Palace)

Lee has actually featured in the Premier League for Palace this season, having played the second half of the Eagles’ dismal 2-0 home defeat to Swansea last time out. But sightings of the South Korean are few and far between – he made only one league appearance after January 22 last term, and has only ever been a fringe player at Selhurst Park.

Cash-strapped Bolton tried to take him on loan this summer, but the 76-cap star “respectfully declined” the loan opportunity from his former club, according to the Bolton News. The bench it is, then.

Equally at Selhurst Park, see fellow squad-fillers Bakary Sako (eight appearances in 2016/17, none so far this season) and Jordon Mutch (also eight appearances last season).

Massadio Haidara (Newcastle)

Haidara is best remembered as a Newcastle player for being the unfortunate recipient of a horrendous knee-high challenge from Callum McManaman in 2013/14. The left-back only played 11 games that season, though, and it’s been much the same since: even as the Magpies have flitted between divisions, Haidara has mustered only 33 league appearances in his three full seasons on Tyneside.

It’s not like Newcastle didn’t try to get rid of him – Rafa Benitez sent his wantaways to train with the academy earlier this summer, but Haidara is still at St James’ Park. “I told them: ‘Listen, we have too many players, my idea is this and you have to be sure you understand what we need to do,” said the Spaniard. Maybe say it a bit louder next time, Rafa.

Lazar Markovic (Liverpool)

Liverpool’s young Serbian wideman could have joined Brighton, Watford or Crystal Palace on deadline day, if reports were to be believed. Instead it looks like the 23-year-old will be fighting for scraps under Jurgen Klopp, after no club snared him before the deadline – not even the Hornets under Marco Silva, who managed him at Hull last season.

Markovic spent time on loan at both the KC Stadium and with Sporting in 2016/17, and has only made 14 Premier League appearances for Liverpool since joining them from Benfica for £20 million (!) in 2014.