Summer Transfer Window: 10 World-Class Players Stuck on Middling Clubs

Mikhail Turner@MikhailTurnerContributor IIIFebruary 28, 2012

Summer Transfer Window: 10 World-Class Players Stuck on Middling Clubs

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    Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid aren't the only clubs with world-class players.

    Sometimes you look at a player and wonder, why are they playing for that team? That's the case with the players on this list.

    The teams on this list have either been under-performing for years and thus have seen a decrease in reputation, or they are simply clubs that can have good seasons from time to time but are not perennial challengers for silverware.

    The players you'll see here are more likely to be interested in leaving—whether they say it publicly or not—and are not staying because they want to.

    Here are 10 world-class players stuck at middling clubs.

Robin Van Persie: Arsenal

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    Robin Van Persie is a world-class forward and he has proven that to any doubters this season.

    His club, Arsenal, has been going the opposite way of world-class and confirmed that this season. There have been seven straight trophy-less seasons at Arsenal now, and no world-class club has that kind of record.

    When your manager is stating that finishing fourth place is like a trophy, well, you get the point. Unfortunately for Robin Van Persie, he may be sticking around a little longer.

Edinson Cavani: Napoli

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    Napoli certainly has history and support in Italy, but that does not make it a world-class club.

    Napoli may make it through to the next round of the Champions League, which would do the organization's reputation well. However, this team isn't a perennial title-challenger like Milan's, and so forth.

    Edinson Cavani is the first player on a team that can excite, but he hasn't produced yet. This is shown by the club's standing on the domestic level. Cavani has attracted a lot of attention from more powerful teams, and a move is sure to come.

Marek Hamsik: Napoli

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    Marek Hamsik is in the same boat as his Uruguayan teammate. The Slovakian is stuck on a team that may not win silverware anytime soon.

Yann M'Vila: FC Stade Rennais

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    You may say that Yann M'Vila is on the bottom rung of world-class players, but he is still world-class.

    FC Stade Rennais is certainly not world-class. The club is currently sixth in Ligue 1, 13 points of the pace and very unlikely to win anything in Europe or domestically for a while.

    M'Vila is a great young player who has attracted a lot of attention and may soon leave the club to play at a higher level.

Giuseppe Rossi: Villarreal

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    Villarreal has had its moments as a club but, as this season has shown, they are a middling club that can make waves from time to time.

    Giuseppe Rossi has been out for the majority of the season and may be stuck with his club for another year.

    If he is selected for Italy's Euro 2012 team and puts in some great performances, then that could change.

    Last year he was strongly linked with Barcelona but nothing happened.

Ezequiel Lavezzi: Napoli

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    Napoli has three players on this list and they are all worthy. Marek Hamsik and Edinson Cavani seemingly get most of the attention, but Ezequiel Lavezzi showed his class against Chelsea last week with two great finishes.

Hulk: Porto

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    Why is Hulk still at Porto? That astronomical price tag may be the reason why. Porto is big in Portugal and decent in Europe, but we are looking at the worldwide reputation here.

    The club has made a habit of selling stars and did so just recently with Radamel Falcao. Hulk's talent is worthy of being showcased in a big team, and that would require a move to England, Italy or Spain.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar: Schalke 04

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    Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is a forward of a dying breed. He is one of the best in the world at what he does. Huntelaar has played for some world-class teams before but has seen himself lose out to more favoured options.

    Schalke is certainly not a world-class club, but with the Dutch forward they have a world-class player.

Jesus Navas: Sevilla

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    Jesus Navas goes under the radar in Europe and worldwide because of the team he plays for. He sometimes gets to play in a Barcelona-dominated Spanish side but that is down to his competition.

    Sevilla is in eighth place in La Liga right now, and though they are usually higher up in the table, they are not seasonal contenders for silverware.

Jan Vertonghen: Ajax

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    Jan Vertonghen is certain to move to a club that will enable him to showcase his talent on a bigger stage. Ajax is one of the most storied clubs in world football, but right now, and for the past few years, they have been a middling club.

    Ajax may be like Arsenal, a product of their own successful history, but we are focusing on the present. Vertonghen is a highly-rated defender and is a big part of the reason why Belgium's future on the international stage is very bright.