We’re closer to the summer transfer window than to the completion of the season since all football has been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
There’s been no shortage of drama this season; from Granit Xhaka telling the Arsenal fans to f****** to Paul Pogba’s lengthy injury that has seen him miss most of the season and his agent publicly claiming that he wants his client to leave Manchester United; be it players arguing with managers, managers falling out with fans or even fans turning on players, the Premier League has certainly lived up to expectations so far.
We’ve also seen some exceptional performances from the likes of Sergio Aguero who is now the second-highest foreign goalscorer in the league, and of course, Liverpool’s incredible, almost-invincible run to the top of the table. But we’ve also seen some players (or rather not seen) who haven’t been giving an opportunity to play or haven’t performed as per expectations. A number of players have been linked with moves in the summer, and we take a look at 11 of those.
Without further ado, here’s our Premier League XI that should be offloaded this summer.
Nine years ago, Maarten Stekelenburg was playing in a World Cup final. Fast forward to the present and he’s made just 26 appearances since joining Everton in 2016. With his current contract running out at the end of the season, it would make sense for Stekelenburg to find a new club in the summer ransfer window if he wants to play regular first-team football.
Over the last couple of seasons, a number of clubs including Ligue 1 club Lille and Real Madrid were linked to the goalkeeping veteran. The LaLiga giants wanted Stekelenburg to replace the outgoing Kaylor Navas and needed cover for Thibaut Courtois. With the signing of free agent Jonas Lossl this summer to back up Jordan Pickford, Stekelenburg has been pushed to third choice as he enters the last year of his contract.
Right Back: Nathaniel Clyne, Liverpool – Clyne was once a mainstay for Jürgen Klopp, but a combination of series injuries and the team’s progression has seen him drop off the radar almost entirely. Out of contract at the end of the season, by which point he will be 29, Clyne will surely eave as a free agent in the summer having missed a substantial chunk of his peak years.
Center Back: Phil Jones, Manchester United – Jones is one of United’s longest-serving players having been at United since joining from Blackburn Rovers in 2011. But the England international appears to be running out of opportunities to ensure he stays put. He’s a club stalwart but no longer in Solskjaer’s plans, spending most of his time training and little of it on the pitch. Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof have become the club’s solid centre-back pairing.
Center Back: Dejan Lovren, Liverpool – Following the 30-year-old’s last Liverpool performance, in which he was part of the Reds’ 3-0 collapse at Watford, Dejan Lovren has found himself being linked with both Arsenal and Tottenham in recent days. Liverpool’s centre-half hierarchy has been in constant rotation for the past two years, but Lovren hasn’t established himself as first-choice with Virgil Van Dijk since the Champions League final against Real Madrid in 2018.
Left Back: Emerson, Chelsea – The Italian left-back has fallen out of favour under Frank Lampard, and has been linked with a move away to Juventus and Inter. Ederson has made just 14 Premier League appearances under Lampard this campaign, and Cesar Azpilicueta – who normally operates at right-back – has been keeping the 25-year-old out the team and playing on the left in his place.
Central Midfielder: Xherdan Shaqiri, Liverpool – Shaqiri has been a good addition to the Liverpool squad with his versatility and creativity that allowed Jurgen Klopp to switch his preferred 4-3-3 formation to a 4-2-3-1 formation. But it seems as though his future does not lie on Merseyside. He has played just five games in the Premier League and, at 28 years of age he still has a lot more to give a future club.
Central Midfielder: Jesse Lingard, Manchester United – Jesse Lingard’s spell as a Manchester United player appears to be nearing an end and is believed to have lost the confidence of manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Lingard did not contribute a league goal or assist in 2019, and the January arrival of Bruno Fernandes and his immediate impact at Old Trafford has pushed Lingard further down the pecking order.
Central Midfielder: Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Arsenal – Mkhitaryan was part of the swap deal which saw Alexis Sanchez join the Red Devils in January 2018, a move which has proved disastrous on both sides. He’s played this season on loan at AS Roma, and Arsenal must offload him to the Italian club and free up wages instead of bringing him back.
Forward: Olivier Giroud, Chelsea – Olivier Giroud made his desire to leave Chelsea clear during the January transfer window, and with Frank Lampard preferring Tammy Abraham up front, the former Arsenal man has seen his playing time drastically reduced at Stamford Bridge. There are rumours that Chelsea are willing to offer him a one-year extension, but if they can’t guarantee him playing time, and as Giroud edges towards the twilight of his career, he will want to get as many minutes as possible.
Forward: Moise Kean, Everton – The £25m striker has not been an instant success on Merseyside and an unhappy introduction to English football culminated in his humiliation at Old Trafford, when caretaker-manager Duncan Ferguson sent him on as a second-half substitute then withdrew him before the end. Following his move from Juventus last summer, Kean has managed just goal and one assist in 22 games.
Premier League XI that should be offloaded this summer.