15 Premier League players who should definitely leave their clubs this summer
Vincent Janssen (Tottenham)
Tottenham’s forgotten man somehow spent the entirety of 2018/19 in north London, but didn’t actually get a game until early April against Brighton.
Fernando Llorente was Mauricio Pochettino’s go-to when Harry Kane was unavailable, and Janssen essentially has as much of a future at Spurs as a fart in gale-force winds.
Ben Gibson (Burnley)
Predicting Burnley’s starting XI at 2pm every Saturday is one of the easiest jobs in football. Sean Dyche knows what he likes, particularly when it comes to his central defence where Ben Mee and James Tarkowski rule supreme.
Gibson discovered that to his chagrin, playing just 63 minutes in the top flight. An early-season hernia didn’t help, but the ex-Middlesbrough defender must surely have his heart set on a club that will give him regular football next term.
Danny Drinkwater (Chelsea)
Anyone can criticise in hindsight, but Drinkwater’s £35m (!!!) switch to Chelsea in 2017 really did look odd even at the time. The midfielder was a gem of Leicester’s title-winning campaign, but his form dipped thereafter and first-team football at Stamford Bridge always felt unlikely.
And so it proved. Drinkwater was so uninvolved last season that Maurizio Sarri only included him in one Premier League matchday squad – matching the number of drink driving charges he picked up. He’s 29 and surely new surroundings could reinvigorate the career of a player capable of making an impact in the top flight. Do it, Danny.
Helder Costa (Wolves)
Costa started last season as a regular on the right of Nuno Espirito Santo’s front three – but a mid-season switch to 3-5-2 refreshed a slightly stale-looking side and nudged the Portuguese attacker aside.
After a fine seventh-placed finish, Nuno is unlikely to break up his Raul Jimenez-Diogo Jota front pairing for next season. That could well leave Costa facing another year as a back-up option, but the 25-year-old must be playing regularly if he’s to stand a chance of making Portugal’s squad for Euro 2020.
David de Gea (Manchester United)
Human after all, we see. De Gea made a series of uncharacteristic – and costly – errors towards the end of last season which had some hysterical souls screaming for Sergio Romero. And yet he’s still one of the world’s best goalkeepers – which is precisely why he should leave Old Trafford this summer.
United have made no progress towards winning their first post-Fergie Premier League title, and De Gea deserves to be playing in the Champions League – something Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side won’t be doing next season. He’ll be a free transfer for a lucrative sign-on fee in 2020, but why wait for that?
Carlos Sanchez (West Ham)
A knee knack forced Sanchez to miss the bulk of last season, but Declan Rice’s excellent form means he might not have played too frequently anyway. Perhaps the 20-year-old Rice wouldn’t have been entrusted so early in the campaign without Sanchez’s injury.
Regardless, Rice is clear first choice now and his Colombian colleague has a fight to get back into the Hammers’ midfield. He’s now 33 and out of contract next summer, so may well consider cutting short his stint after a single season.
Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)
Zaha has stuck around for longer than most Crystal Palace fans could have hoped for, and few Eagles would begrudge him a dream move this summer.
The south London native wants a shot at the Champions League, and that’s understandable – not least as he turns 27 in November, close to his prime and the perfect age for Palace to cash in for a second time.
Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal)
Jump before you’re pushed, perhaps? Many Arsenal fans would concur. Mustafi was disastrous for much of last season, costing the Gunners on numerous occasions with his tendency to lose concentration at crucial moments.
Arsenal won’t recoup anything close to the £35m they paid Valencia for him in 2016, but right now they’ll probably happy to get half of that to free up his wages. Milan are said to be monitoring the situation and there could be interest from La Liga too. It could do him some good.
James McCarthy (Everton)
A horrific leg break ruled McCarthy out for over a year, and his appearance in April’s 4-0 thrashing of Manchester United was his first in the Premier League since January 2018.
It was also his sole outing last term. Manager Marco Silva already has plenty of midfield options at his disposal – and will sign Andre Gomes permanently soon – so the Irishman would be unlikely to see much action if he stayed put. A shame.
Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City)
Otamendi was key in Pep Guardiola’s first title-winning team at City, but only among the supporting cast last time out. Aymeric Laporte and John Stones both made more starts, while Vincent Kompany was the preferred choice towards crunch time.
Otamendi is said to fancy pastures new, which makes sense given that Guardiola is hotly linked with a big-money move for Leicester’s Harry Maguire. The writing appears to be on the wall.
Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester)
Leicester seemed to have pulled off a transfer coup when they persuaded Iheanacho to join them in 2017, what with a potent goalscoring record to his name at Manchester City.
Since then, though, not much has gone right. The 22-year-old’s returns last season – one goal in 30 games – were so disappointing that Nigeria didn’t even pick him for their Africa Cup of Nations squad. Age, at least, is on his side.
Adam Lallana (Liverpool)
Thanks to his time under Mauricio Pochettino at Southampton, Lallana was one of the Liverpool players who responded best to Jurgen Klopp’s high-tempo demands early on in his tenure at Anfield. Mind you, it does help when he’s your next-door neighbour.
The Reds, however, have moved on quickly since. Injury woes and high-quality new arrivals pushed Lallana down the pecking order, even if the midfielder did still show flashes of his quality when called upon last season. He’s now 31 and must think carefully about what’s next.
Victor Moses (Chelsea)
It already seems surreal that Moses played a fundamental role in a Premier League title-winning team. As a right-wing-back.
It feels like he’s been around forever, but at 28 he still has plenty left to give. Moses scored four goals on loan at Fenerbahce last season despite only starting eight league games – and there will surely be plenty of interest in recruiting him closer to home this summer.
Joe Hart (Burnley)
Hart leapt at the chance to become Burnley’s No.1 last term when Tom Heaton and Nick Pope were both crocked. But things went badly for him again: a string of poor performances meant the former Manchester City man was dropped as soon as Heaton came back, and the Clarets improved shortly after.
The word is that Burnley would now be happy to grant the 32-year-old a free transfer this summer, and Lille are allegedly sniffing around the ex-England shot-stopper.
Dan Burn (Brighton)
As far as FourFourTwo is aware, Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy won’t be spending their summers holidaying in Magaluf together within five feet of one another. Next season normal service will resume, however, and Nigeria international Leon Balogun will back them up as first port of call for new boss Graham Potter.
Burn could be left out in the cold. The former Fulham stopper joined Brighton from Wigan last summer, but was loaned straight back to the Latics until January. It’s likely that a similar deal could be on his agenda in 2019/20.
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