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The transfer window may have closed but that doesn’t mean that all managers, nor all players are currently happy with their current squad, or position within that squad. Indeed, a quick glance down the squads of the Premier League’s top teams reveals a number of players who look to be down, if not out, at their current club.
In this article, we’ll examine the futures of these Premier League stars who seem to have lost their way at their current club and ask, what does the future hold for them?
Let’s begin at the Emirates Stadium where two German World Cup winners form part of what most critics consider to be the strongest Arsenal team, but a third is seemingly struggling to convince Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger that he deserves a regular place in the team.
1. Lukasz Podolski (Arsenal)
When Lukasz Podolski joined Arsenal, his first season was an undoubted success. The German international, who at age 29 has already amassed 118 caps and 47 international goals, scored 16 goals and made 11 assists in his first season for the Gunners and looked set to become one of the key men of the new Arsene Wenger generation.
His second season was largely interrupted with injuries and although he made 20 appearances and scored 8 goals in the league, he featured frequently as a substitute in games and struggled to win back a regular place in the side.
With Arsenal spending £35 million on Barcelona striker Alexis Sanchez and then a further £16m on transfer deadline day to procure the signing of Danny Welbeck from Manchester United, Podolski’s chances of a regular place in the Arsenal team have faded further. Even with an injury to Olivier Giroud, it seems that Podolski may still be Arsenal’s third or even fourth choice striker, battling for that honour with Yaya Sanogo and Joel Campbell.
Given his advancing years and Arsene Wenger’s policy to look towards youth, it seems that Podolski could be surplus to requirements. There’s plenty of teams who would love a striker of his talent and experience and if Podolski is to further his career in the Premier League, his future may well lie away from the Emirates Stadium.
2. Lucas (Liverpool)
From one Lukasz to another, although with a slightly different spelling. Liverpool’s Brazilian midfielder Lucas may well be fighting for his place at Anfield once again, just a couple of years after he seemed to have cracked a regular place in the first team.
Lucas initial time at the club was dogged by a lack of form and confidence. Hampered by fans misguided belief that he was an attacking Brazilian midfielder in the mould of a Rivaldo or Zico, Lucas initial ponderous displays in midfield won him few admirers at Anfield and it was clear that the youngster’s confidence was rocked.
To his credit, Lucas refused to buckle to the boo-boys at Anfield and under Rafa Benitez, especially when Xabi Alonso left the club, the Brazilian matured into a commanding figure in central midfield alongside Steven Gerrard.
However, since the arrival of Brendan Rodgers, Lucas has struggled to find his best form. With Jordan Henderson, then Joe Allen arriving at Anfield, competition for places at the heart of the Liverpool midfield grew intense and so far, Lucas seems to be the one losing the battle.
Linked strongly with a move to Napoli before the transfer window closed, if Lucas hasn’t made inroads into the first team by January, a new year move to Italy could still be on the cards.
3. Scott Sinclair (Manchester City)
A teen prodigy at Bristol Rovers, making his league debut aged just 15, Scott Sinclair’s move to Chelsea didn’t pan out. He spent five years at Stamford Bridge, making just five appearances but increased his marketability through a series of loan spells with other clubs, most notably Wigan Athletic in 2009/2010.
That convinced Swansea to snap him up for a bargain £500,000 in the summer of 2010 and at the Swans, Sinclair matured into a fine player playing 82 league games and scoring 28 goals to catch the eye of big spending Manchester City who in the summer of 2012, snapped him up on a free transfer.
It was a dream move that quickly turned sour. In his first season, Sinclair made only 3 starts for Manchester City out of 15 appearances and in total he played less than 190 minutes of league football.
Last season, he was loaned out to West Brom but again fell out of favour, making only 8 appearances on loan.
He’s still at Manchester City in the third year of a four year deal, but seemingly has little chance of making the first team at City and it seems only a matter of time before Sinclair joins the exodus of English players out of the club.
4. Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United)
Famed for his frizzy afro, Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini cut a dashing figure at Goodison Park. The Everton midfielders trademark hairdo saw local entrepreneurs make a small fortune selling “Fellaini wigs” outside Goodison each week.
It’s fair to say that there aren’t too many Manchester United fans buying up their own at the moment.
The tall Belgian actually rejected Manchester United before he joined Everton for £15m in 2008. In 141 games at Everton, he scored 25 goals and his power, height and strength at times made him unplayable.
When David Moyes left Goodison for Manchester United in 2013, Fellaini soon followed in a £27.5m deal. United fans were expecting the same dominating performances they saw at Goodison but Fellaini struggled in his first season, making 17 appearances in the league, not scoring a goal and his play generally viewed as below par for that of a Manchester United player.
With Moyes now consigned to the history books, Louis van Gaal is building his own Manchester United team and it seems Fellaini is not part of it. Linked with several moves away in the summer, the Belgian will surely seek a loan or permanent move if he cannot break into the first team at Old Trafford in the coming months.
5. Aaron Lennon (Tottenham Hotspur)
Spurs diminutive winger and vice captain has always possessed electric speed and he has earned 21 England caps and played 258 league games for Spurs scoring 26 goals but creating many more due to his pace and energy down the wing.
However, since Mauricio Pochettino took the helm at White Hart Lane, Lennon has fallen way down the pecking order. Now no longer secure of a place in the team, he looks on from the bench in most games and has just made one start this season.
His position at the club was further weakened when it emerged, according to reports in the press, that Tottenham were desperately trying to offload the winger before the transfer deadline closed, offering Lennon to a host of clubs in a bid to remove him from the Spurs wage bill.
While that was unsuccessful last time around, in January with clubs needing a fresh injection of talent to push on for European and Champions League places, or to stave of relegation, it seems certain someone will come calling for a player of Lennon’s talent.