10 players we can't believe are still at Premier League clubs
Jerome Sinclair (Watford)
Sinclair was considered a talent as promising as Raheem Sterling when Liverpool nabbed him from West Brom’s academy as a 14-year-old. That reputation followed him through his first years at Melwood too, as he impressed for the Reds’ youth sides and looked every bit the player that the Merseysiders hoped he’d be.
But it didn’t last. Sinclair spent time on loan with Wigan at the tail end of 2014/15, but only played once for the Latics before returning to Liverpool and making his Premier League debut against Chelsea in mid-May. In the following season he scored his first goal against Exeter in the FA Cup – but 10 days later it was announced that he’d be leaving Liverpool at the end of the season.
Watford got him for a compensation fee of £4m, but the move hasn’t turned out well for anyone. Sinclair only played for the Hornets six times last campaign, and featured just five times for Birmingham in a half-season loan. So… what now?
Henri Saivet (Newcastle)
Haidara isn’t the only unwanted face on Tyneside. Saivet joined Newcastle from Bordeaux for £5m in January 2016, but played only four times that season as his new team were relegated to the Championship. He didn’t stick around for the Championship season to come, though, and hot-footed it back to France on a year-long loan with Saint-Etienne.
But now the 26-year-old Senegal international is back and apparently prepared to fight for his place in Benitez’s starting XI. That, and Newcastle couldn’t shift him and his £35k-per-week wages. After featuring in the Magpies’ League Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest, Saivet said: “I’m going to fight for the team, for the fans and for everybody. I want to play. “But it depends only on me. I have to work hard to show the manager and other people that I can play.”
Florin Gardos (Southampton)
Downtrodden Gardos might just be the most forgotten man on this list. The Romanian joined Southampton three summers ago but has only played 18 games in all competitions since, last turning out for the Saints back in January’s 5-0 tonking against Arsenal in the FA Cup.
Funnily enough, that was the centre-back’s only appearance of 2016/17, following almost two years without an appearance for Southampton after a nasty knee injury he suffered in summer 2015. Now he’s just way down the pecking order – sixth choice behind Maya Yoshida, Jack Stephens, new signings Wesley Hoedt and Jan Bednarek, plus outcast Virgil van Dijk. Oh dear.
Adam Bogdan (Liverpool)
Liverpool’s goalkeeping woes are plain for all to see – and Bogdan is the sorry punchline. The Hungarian has been with the Reds for two years now, during which time he’s featured for them six times (all in 2015/16) and enjoyed a stint on loan at Wigan.
A serious knee injury cut short his stint with the Latics last season, though, and when he returns he’ll be fourth choice at Anfield behind Simon Mignolet, Loris Karius and Danny Ward (who won’t be too happy being third in line with few first-team prospects after such a successful season at Huddersfield last year).
Ibrahim Afellay (Stoke)
Remember when Afellay was well regarded enough to play for Barcelona? That really happened for the Dutchman when he signed for the Catalans from PSV in late 2011 – but the high didn’t last too long.
After loan spells at Schalke and Olympiakos, Afellay wound up at a new-look Stoke in the summer of 2015, and was a first-team regular in his debut season. That all changed when performances dipped, though, and the 31-year-old was restricted to only three Premier League starts last season. His last appearance for the club came on April 4, when a knee injury ended his season and continues to keep him sidelined.