10 Footballers Who Need a Change of Scenery

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentNovember 23, 2012

10 Footballers Who Need a Change of Scenery

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    Here are 10 footballers who need a change of scenery because sometimes signing for a new club is the best option for the player in question.

    Diego Forlán’s ability as a player was questioned during his forgettable spell at Manchester United. However, he answered his critics after moving to La Liga, where he became a prolific goal scorer with Villarreal and Atlético Madrid.

    This article will only include players whose transfer stock has taken a dive, as opposed to elite footballers stuck at mediocre clubs, i.e. Iago Aspas at Celta Vigo.

10. Andrey Arshavin, Arsenal, Attacking Midfielder, Age: 31

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    League Only Santi Cazorla (10-11) Andrey Arshavin (10-11)
    Games 37 37
    Goals 5 6
    Shots Per Goal 18.8 11.7
    Assists 10 11
    Shots Created Per Game 2 1.5
    Completed Dribbles Per Game 1.4 1
    Passes Per Game 52.3 27.5
    Passing % 84.2 75
    Long Pass % 78.2 49
    Possession Won Back Per Game 3.5 2.4


    Arshavin wasn't given the full-time No. 10 role because of Cesc Fàbregas. However, don't act as if the Russian was marooned out wide. 

    He played as an inside-left, which allowed him some flexibility to create. There's a reason why he accumulated 11 assists. 

    It's the same position he played at Euro 2012 under Dick Advocaat. The primary difference from Arsenal is DA was too scared to call Arshavin out for roaming around like Lionel Messi. 

    It wasn't positional differences, rather Arshavin's tendency to drift out of games that sank his career with the Gunners. 

    Just look at Cazorla, who made the transition from being a world-class false 11 to a world-class No. 10. 

    Arsène Wenger expected Arshavin to do the same but just the other way around. 

9. Pepe Reina, Liverpool, Goalkeeper, Age: 30

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    League Only Saves Save % Saves to Goal Conceded Average
    Joe Hart 22 68.9 2.2
    Jussi Jääskeläinen 54 81.8 4.5
    Pepe Reina 14 53.8 1.2
    Víctor Valdés 27 65.9 1.8


    If you ever wondered why Liverpool's No. 1 earned the derisive moniker Pepe "No Saves" Reina, look at the table above. 

    Statistically, he's one of the worst keepers in Europe right now—even Valdés is better than Reina. 

    If you're not a stats guy, how can he not flunk your eye-test with mistake after mistake in recent memory?  

    Some Liverpool supporters have been clinging onto the adage: "form is temporary, class is permanent."

    So have Chelsea supporters who believe in Fernando Torres

    If Reina doesn't drastically start playing like the Reina of old, Brendan Rodgers needs to start scouting possible replacements. 

8. Daniel Sturridge, Chelsea, Centre Forward, Age: 23

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    With Rafa Benítez at the helm, Daniel Sturridge's career with Chelsea is over. 

    The reason why the young forward has irked so many Chelsea supporters is his blatant attempts to sabotage Fernando Torres' ability to score. 

    Whenever Sturridge was on the field with El Niño, the Englishman resorted to taking shots from all sorts of angles and refused to thread the Spaniard through balls. 

    In several years' time, the Blues will regret their decision not to give Sturridge an extended run as a No. 9.

7. Fernando Llorente, Athletic Bilbao, Centre Forward, Age: 27

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    Storming out of training, going AWOL for a news conference and showing Yann M'Vila-like body language is how Fernando Llorente will force Athletic Bilbao to sell him to Juventus. 

    Gloss over the first half of this season because when Llorente is happy, he can beat defenders as an aerial threat and on the ground. 

    Ask Rio Ferdinand. 

6. Eduardo Vargas, Napoli, Deep-Lying Forward, Age: 23

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    In the limited game time Walter Mazzarri has given to the 23-year-old, Eduardo Vargas has been a bright spark. 

    There's a fine line between being a showman and a footballer. 

    Vargas needs to decide if he wants to be the next Jorge Valdívia or a reliable forward like Iván Zamorano. 

5. Josip Ilicić, Palermo, Attacking Midfielder, Age: 24

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    What's happened to Josip Ilicić?

    He's the attacking player's answer to Simon Kjær, who incidentally also played for Palermo. 

    Both have all the tools to be a world-class player but are floundering and in steep decline.

4. Mario Balotelli, Manchester City, Centre Forward, Age: 22

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    I have a love-hate relationship with Mario Balotelli. I hate the thuggish acts he does on the field, whether it's stomping on Scott Parker or trying to break Alex Song's leg. 

    Yet, I love his flippant attitude to life. 

    He is so out there that tabloids can create bizarre stories about him and most of the readers would believe it. 

3. Kevin-Prince Boateng, AC Milan, Deep-Lying Forward, Age: 25

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    At 53 shots and counting, Kevin-Prince Boateng still hasn't scored a goal in Serie A or the UEFA Champions League this season. Meanwhile, Stephan El Shaarawy has scored 12 goals from 58 shots.

    Boateng averages more fouls per game than shots created.

    He's never been a conventional trequartista and will never be one. 

    Last season, he compensated with energy and outrageous goals. However, since taking Clarence Seedorf's No. 10 shirt, KPB has hit an all-time low. 

2. Fernando Torres, Chelsea, Centre Forward, Age: 28

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    Roman Abramovich has showed how desperate he is in proving that he was right to spend £50 million on Fernando Torres by hiring Rafa Benítez.

    No competition at centre-forward. Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar as the "3" in the 4-2-3-1. Plus, your old manager in Benítez. 

    Yet, Torres will still continue to score goals here and there and end up with a modest total for the season—around 15-20.

    It still won't be good enough from a £50 million valued forward and someone commanding a higher salary than Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

1. Yann M'Vila, Rennes, Defensive Midfielder, Age: 22

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    Yann M'Vila is public enemy No. 1 in Rennes, having made himself bigger than the club before the season started and then sulking on the field when he wasn't sold in the summer. 

    He showed how classless he was in not shaking the hand of then-manager Laurent Blanc during Euro 2012. 

    He is banned from playing for France until 2014 after his nightclubbing antics

    Prior to those incidents, his inability to control his emotions led to road rage and another case where he assaulted a teenager. 

    Now, he has done his medial ligament, which is ironic because he has reeled in his tackling this season to avoid injuries that could hinder a move away from Rennes. 

    Never have I seen a player's transfer stock plummet so quickly in such a short span of time. He is damaged goods from a PR, legal, medical and playing perspective. 

    He could be signed for £2 million-£5 million.


    Top 11 Transfer Targets from Minor Clubs

    Statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com and Fox Soccer

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