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Parker's left a positive mark everywhere he's been since being released by Chelsea in 2005
Until last season, Scott Parker's massive influence on the pitch had often gone unnoticed. The combative midfielder usually takes care of the dirty work in the middle, but he does so with such aplomb that it's easy to forget his technical ability.
Parker made a name for himself at Charlton Athletic where he won the PFA Young Player of the year award in 2003, thereby establishing himself as one England's top defensive midfielders by the time nouveau-riche Chelsea came calling in 2004. The Blues paid 10 million pounds for then 24 year-old Parker, but envisioned him mainly as cover for Claude Makelele and mostly confined him to the bench in his 15 appearances for the club.
New recruits Tiago and Arjen Robben effectively spelled the end of his time at Stamford Bridge—such is the fate of a solid, though not flashy player in the Abramovic era.
In July 2005, Parker was sold to Newcastle for 6.5 million pounds, where he regained his form and played consistently under managers Graeme Souness and Glenn Roeder.
West Ham came calling in 2007 and it was there that, over four seasons, Parker solidified his reputation as one of England's best and most underrated players. Despite West Ham's relegation after the 2010-2011 season, Parker was named the Football Writer Association's player of the year and earned himself a transfer to Tottenham Hotspur.
After another full season of inspiring performances, Parker was named to the PFA Team of the Year for the 2011-2012 season.
While they may have won Champions league, Chelsea's league form was, to put it mildly, underwhelming. Claude Makelele, Michael Ballack, and Michael Essien may have plugged the defensive gap in the midfield, but none of them lasted as long (and ended up costing a whopping 31.2 million pounds more combined), as the London man. I guess Abramovic didn't truly realize what he had until it was gone...