Shifting ain't easy
The summer transfer window has been and gone, with the European market now closed for business following Monday’s deadline. Clubs have had months to get business done – but some haven't managed to do enough.
That means the following players are still attached to their Premier League clubs, despite having appeared destined for the exit…
Oumar Niasse (Everton)
Niasse’s days at Everton have been numbered since Ronald Koeman froze him out of the first-team squad in 2016/17, but the striker outlasted the Dutchman and has also seen off Sam Allardyce at Goodison Park.
Niasse was loaned to Cardiff in the second half of last season, although he failed to score in 13 appearances. Out of contract next summer, the Senegalese is unlikely to feature too prominently this term.
Fred (Manchester United)
Only five players in Manchester United’s history cost more than Fred, who arrived at Old Trafford for £52m to much fanfare last summer. Things didn’t exactly go to plan for the Brazilian in 2018/19, though, as he failed to convince under both Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The Norwegian, it seems, has already seen enough – Fred hasn't even made his matchday squad so far this season. Perhaps the only reason he's still around is because it would be difficult for the Red Devils to find a buyer without writing off a significant sum.
Jairo Riedewald (Crystal Palace)
Riedewald came close to leaving Palace before the European window closed on Monday, but a proposed loan move to Paderborn collapsed, leaving him in Selhurst Park limbo.
A Frank de Boer signing in 2017, the Dutchman became a bit-part player once Roy Hodgson took charge, and has since faded from view. He featured in the League Cup defeat by Colchester at the end of August, but opportunities will prove much harder to come by now that Palace have been eliminated from that competition.
Ezequiel Schelotto (Brighton)
Signed just before the transfer window closed in summer 2017, Schelotto has had little to cheer in his two years at Brighton. Initially an understudy to club captain Bruno, the right-back briefly impressed during a spell in the team while the Spaniard was injured, but he didn’t play a single minute for the Seagulls last season.
A return to Italy was rumoured this summer – Schelotto has represented Cesena, Catania, Atalanta, Inter, Sassuolo, Parma and Chievo – but nothing materialised before Monday’s deadline.
Jack Colback (Newcastle)
Those with Sunderland connections aren’t always universally welcome at St James’ Park (as Steve Bruce can attest), but Colback initially became a favourite among the Newcastle faithful despite his six-year association with their local rivals.
A regular in his first three seasons at the club, the midfielder has found game time hard to come by since 2016/17. Rafael Benitez made it clear that Colback wasn’t in his plans, but the 29-year-old remains a Magpie despite the fact that Bruce appears to share his predecessor’s view.
Matt Macey (Arsenal)
Following Laurent Koscielny’s summer move to Bordeaux, Emiliano Martinez is Arsenal’s longest-serving player. The Argentine has at least been promoted to the role of back-up goalkeeper following Petr Cech’s retirement, which has in turn led to the retention of Macey as third-in-command.
The Arsenal academy graduate is now 24 years old – an age at which regular football should be the priority, even for goalkeepers. After spending last season as Plymouth’s first choice, being back at the Emirates Stadium feels – somewhat perversely – like a backwards step.
Dimitri Foulquier (Watford)
Never heard of him? Don't worry. One of many players who’s moved between Granada and Watford in recent seasons, Foulquier is still awaiting his maiden Premier League appearance for the Hornets two years on from joining. The defender spent time on loan in 2017/18 (at Strasbourg) and 2018/19 (Getafe), but no temporary switch was forthcoming this summer.
Foulquier will hope that his continued presence in Hertfordshire post-deadline day will lead to his belated league debut, particularly after he played his first game for the club in last week’s League Cup win against Coventry.
Henri Saivet (Newcastle)
Having made just eight appearances since joining Newcastle in January 2016, it’s fair to say the signing of Saivet hasn’t worked out. Four of those outings came in 2017/18, but the midfielder didn’t play at all last term and looks set for a similar fate this time around.
The former Bordeaux man has spent time on loan at Saint-Etienne, Sivasspor and Bursaspor since his arrival at St. James’ Park, but he failed to secure another short-term switch this summer.
Kean Bryan (Sheffield United)
After failing to make the breakthrough at Manchester City, Bryan joined Sheffield United in 2018 in search of meaningful first-team action. The defender failed to make an appearance last term, though, with a combination of niggling injuries and illness checking his progress.
United’s promotion to the Premier League has harmed his chances of regular appearances, and it looked as if he would at least be loaned out for the 2019/20 campaign. Instead, Bryan remains at Bramall Lane, still awaiting his league debut for the Blades.
Matej Vydra (Burnley)
Vydra’s experience at Watford suggested that, like several before him, he was a fine striker in the Championship but not cut out for the top tier. Burnley decided to test that theory after the Czech Republic international notched 21 goals for Derby in 2017/18, but they too have struggled to get the best out of the forward in the Premier League.
Vydra has scored just one goal in 13 top-flight outings for the Clarets, and finds himself further down the pecking order after the summer arrival of Jay Rodriguez. It’s a surprise he didn’t seek pastures new this summer.
Marcos Rojo (Manchester United)
Rojo was reportedly on the verge of joining Everton before the Premier League window closed in early August, only for the Glazers to apparently block the move because they consider the Toffees top-four rivals.
The Argentine was still hoping to depart before the European deadline, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed last week that Rojo was going nowhere. The United boss has told the defender that he’s part of his plans, but it remains to be seen how prominently he features in them.
Greg Lea is a freelance football journalist who's filled in wherever FourFourTwo needs him since 2014. He became a Crystal Palace fan after watching a 1-0 loss to Port Vale in 1998, and once got on the scoresheet in a primary school game against Wilfried Zaha's Whitehorse Manor (an own goal in an 8-0 defeat).
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