12 expensive outcasts who are STILL at these Premier League clubs
Most Premier League sides have squads packed with a number of big-money signings these days - and unwanted players can be difficult to move on.
The bumper wage packets offered in England mean players are only farmed out on loan for a few months before ending up right back where they started. FourFourTwo takes a look at 12 outcasts who are still hanging around...
Alexis Sanchez (Manchester United)
He may have been given a grand entrance with that now-infamous piano unveiling, but Sanchez has completely fluffed his lines at Old Trafford.
Signed in a swap deal that sent Henrikh Mkhitaryan the other way to Arsenal, the Chilean – who was also interesting Manchester City – has been an utter disaster for United. The devastating combination of pace, dribbling and finishing that made him so deadly in north London look to have completely vanished, while numerous injuries haven’t done him any favours.
Just five goals in 18 months at Old Trafford - the last at Arsenal in January, naturally - means United need to jettison the Chilean, and fast. Good thing he’s on a reported £350,000-a-week before bonuses.
Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)
The German has often been targeted by both Arsenal fans and rivals for disappearing when the Gunners need him - and he may not be sticking around at the Emirates much longer.
Ozil's appearance statistics perhaps make it harsh to call him an outcast, but he only started 20 games in 2018/19 and was often left out by Unai Emery - for tactical reasons or otherwise.
Turkish side Fenerbahce have been linked with the 30-year-old, who says he intends to see out the remaining two years of his huge £350,000-a-week deal which shattered Arsenal’s wage structure. Good luck matching that.
Vincent Janssen (Tottenham)
Spurs fans didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when the Dutchman was sent on against Brighton in April with a top-four place hanging in the balance. Janssen has been the butt of many jokes since his 2016 arrival from AZ Alkmaar in his homeland, where he scored 27 Eredivisie goals and won the Dutch Footballer of the Year award in 2015/16.
But the 25-year-old just hasn't worked out for Spurs since his arrival as back-up to Harry Kane - injuries and a lack of form saw him farmed out on loan to Fenerbache in 2017/18.
Like messrs Alves, Altidore and Depay before him, Janssen – who has played just four times in two years for Spurs - is another Eredivisie attacker the Premier League has chewed up and spat out.
Danny Drinkwater (Chelsea)
More than a few eyebrows were raised when Drinkwater followed N’Golo Kante to Leicester - a year after the Foxes’ miraculous Premier League title win - for a hefty £35m fee. Sure, the Englishman had been an impressive figure alongside Kante in Leicester’s stunning title success, leading to a new contract and England recognition in 2016/17.
But his form had slipped and the former Manchester United youth player was joining a Chelsea side stacked with midfield talent including Kante, Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic.
Injuries restricted him to 22 appearances under Antonio Conte, but the arrival of Maurizio Sarri – and subsequently, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic – meant he bombed down the pecking order. He made a just a single appearance in 2018/19 - 30 minutes in the Charity Shield - before Sarri claimed Drinkwater was not suited to his football. Ouch.
Islam Slimani (Leicester)
Algerian striker Slimani is almost part of different era at Leicester. Signed from Sporting CP in the summer of 2016 after the Foxes' title triumph, he was one of six summer signings the club made in a bid to keep their place among the big boys.
Most were disastrous, and Slimani’s Leicester career – along with fellow arrivals Ahmed Musa, Luis Hernandez and Bartosz Kapustka – quickly turned pear-shaped. The (now) 31-year-old scored twice on his Premier League debut against Burnley, but struggled with form and injury thereafter.
A 2018 loan move to Newcastle can be summarised as follows: four appearances, no goals and a three-match ban for violent conduct. Another, at Fenerbahce in 2018/19, produced only one league goal.
Slimani is expected to find a new club after he's done on Africa Cup of Nations duty with Algeria, but for now he's still among Brendan Rodgers' roster for 2019/20.
Ben Gibson (Burnley)
It’s fairly clear by now that Sean Dyche just doesn't fancy Gibson at Burnley. The centre-back arrived at Turf Moor in a £15m deal from Middlesbrough in August 2018 – big money for the Clarets – after impressing in both the Championship and Premier League during his time at the Riverside.
But Gibson couldn't dislodge the ever-present pairing of James Tarkowski and Ben Mee and mustered only five appearances across all competitions in 2018/19.
Tellingly, the 26-year-old played just once in the Premier League - a 5-1 hammering at home to Everton - and has been linked with a move to Besiktas this summer. Obviously.
Eliaquim Mangala (Manchester City)
Whatever magic trick Mangala has pulled off to still be at City in 2019, we want to know. The Frenchman hasn't kicked a ball for the club since December 2017, and for anyone at all since February last year, when he picked up a knee injury just two games into a loan spell at Everton.
The 28-year-old was signed by Manuel Pellegrini in a messy £42m deal from Porto in 2014 - but was soon unwanted by Pep Guardiola and sent on loan to Valencia. He ended up back at City, where he played 15 games in 2017/18 before his short stay on Merseyside.
Mangala actually signed a one-year extension to his deal in February and is set to be a part of the champions’ pre-season tour of China. Another year on the bench awaits.
Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea)
Dortmund, Valencia and south London - Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi has taken in some of Europe’s best sights in his time away from Stamford Bridge (well, if you just can't get enough of Greenwich Market that is).
The 25-year-old will argue he hasn’t had a fair crack of the whip in his time with the Blues; Diego Costa was ahead of him in the pecking order when he arrived, and the signings of Alvaro Morata, Olivier Giroud and Gonzalo Higuain followed.
After nine goals in his debut season, the Belgian was loaned to Dortmund, where he scored nine goals in 14 games. A much less fruitful three goal, six-month spell at Valencia followed in 2018/19, at which point he was rescued by Palace and netted six times for the Eagles. With a transfer embargo in place at Stamford Bridge, Batshuayi will be hoping to get a chance under Frank Lampard in 2019/20.
Guido Carrillo (Southampton)
Argentine striker Carrillo arrived on the south coast from Monaco in Mauricio Pellegrino’s ill-fated spell in charge. Worse, a mammoth £19m fee was shelled out for the 28-year-old, who had a below-average record of 21 goals in 95 games for his old club after a slightly more encouraging spell at Estudiantes (where he'd previously worked with Pellegrino).
After five starts and no goals in his first six games, Carrillo watched on in horror as Pellegrino was sacked following a chastening 3-0 defeat at Newcastle. Mark Hughes gave the striker only seven minutes of football and then loaned him to Leganes for 2018/19, managed by - yep, you guessed it - Mauricio Pellegrino.
Jordan Hugill (West Ham)
Like Lucas Perez, Simone Zaza and Jonathan Calleri, Hugill is another striker to have fallen by the wayside in east London. The 27-year-old was signed from Preston for £10m on deadline day in January 2018, but was consigned to the bench under David Moyes, then found it hard to get in ahead of Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez in 2017/18.
Hugill only made three substitute appearances totalling 22 minutes at the London Stadium, and was left on the bench in nine out of 12 games he was available for - leading to a loan move with hometown side Middlesbrough in 2018/19.
Oumar Niasse (Everton)
Senegal striker Niasse has had a tough time since signing for Everton from Lokomotiv Moscow in 2016 for £13.5m. After a difficult first season as back-up to Romelu Lukaku and a handful of appearances, most of them off the bench, he was banished to the under-23s by Ronald Koeman who told him to find a new club.
An encouraging loan move to Hull City and five goals in 19 appearances followed, but the Tigers were relegated and Niasse was back with Koeman - who finally brought Niasse out of the shadows as he scored twice against Bournemouth before getting sacked.
Niasse was more involved under Sam Allardyce and made seven sporadic appearances when Marco Silva took the helm, but a goalless 13-game loan spell at Cardiff in 2018/19 proved unsuccessful. Nevertheless, the 29-year-old is still hanging on in there at Goodison Park.
Georges-Kevin Nkoudou (Tottenham)
Maurico Pochettino and Tottenham were so desperate for a winning goal at Craven Cottage in January that they turned to Nkoudou, whose last league appearance for Spurs was a single minute against Bournemouth in October 2017.
The Frenchman had signed for £11m in 2016 and made just two starts in his first season, leading to a loan spell at Burnley in 2017/18 where he made just eight appearances - six from the bench.
But Nkoudou was back at Spurs in 2018/19 and set up the winner for Harry Winks against Fulham, sparking scenes of bedlam in the away end. His reward was another boot out of the door marked 'sod off', this time on loan to Monaco, where the 24-year-old helped the principality club narrowly avoid relegation.
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