20 Players in Desperate Need of a Change of Scenery
Here are 20 footballers in desperate need of a change of scenery because their current situation is not working out.
Lack of productivity, dispute with management or being offered an improved contract elsewhere could all be factors in a transfer away from their present team.
Don't hesitate to comment below with your own suggestions.
Alessandro Del Piero (Sydney FC)
Sydney FC manager Frank Farina embarrassed Alessandro Del Piero by subbing him out while Sydney were trying to win the derby against the Western Sydney Wanderers.
Why substitute the most technically gifted player on the team in such an emotionally driven game?
Farina later admitted the team lost its way without Del Piero.
"After it [the substitution] we couldn't keep the ball, we started knocking a lot of long balls," Farina said, per Adrian Warren at AAP (h/t Fox Sports). "[Del Piero] is never happy when he comes off the field for whatever reason, so that's football, but nothing was said at all."
So you have Farina subbing out Del Piero, Sydney losing more games (eight) than they have won (six) and Sydney chairman Scott Barlow not knowing if Del Piero wants to stay at the club.
"Alessandro is contracted with us until the end of the season, not beyond," Barlow said, as per Fairfax Media (h/t Sebastian Hassett at the Sydney Morning Herald). "We've been consistent that we'd have a conversation in January about the future and that's certainly still our plan."
Del Piero deserves better.
Bas Dost (Wolfsburg)
Bas Dost should be a starting centre-forward, not an impact sub.
He has yet to start a Bundesliga game this season for Wolfsburg, making all five of his league appearances off the bench.
To think this is the same No. 9 who scored 32 goals in 34 Eredivisie games during the 2011-12 season.
Diego Contento (Bayern Munich)
Since the 2009-10 season, Diego Contento has yet to make 30 or more league starts for Bayern Munich.
When he has played, he has shown a propensity to cut off passes (nine interceptions in three Bundesliga games), be involved in the build-up play (he averages 60 passes per game this season) and cope with positional changes.
Bayern manager Pep Guardiola believes Contento, a full-back, has filled in well at centre-back.
"I have another great left-footed player for the position of centre-back in Diego Contento," Guardiola said, per TZ (h/t Stefan Coerts at Goal.com). "He gives me yet another alternative for the position of centre-back."
Yet Guardiola sees Contento as a backup, which is why he has only played three league games this season.
Contento needs more game time, and if Bayern cannot give him that, he should leave.
Fabio Quagliarella (Juventus)
Fabio Quagliarella is consigned to the odd start here and there for Juventus, making only three Serie A starts so far.
His agent Beppe Bozzo revealed many clubs want his client but cannot afford him due to Juventus' high-valuation of the forward.
"I'm sure there are a lot of clubs interested, but if he was to leave Juve, teams would have to pay €8 million which has put off some clubs," Bozzo said, per Football Italia. "Quagliarella doesn't want to leave Juventus."
Quagliarella should ask himself: Do I want to ride the coattails of Juve's success, or do I want to be a star at a club willing to make me its first priority?
Gael Kakuta (Chelsea; Vitesse Loanee)
Gael Kakuta, whose playing rights are owned by Chelsea, averages 16 minutes per Eredivisie game on loan at Vitesse this season.
Since joining Chelsea in 2009, he has yet to score 10 goals in a season on loan, let alone for the Blues.
Last December, he announced he wanted to leave the Blues, per Mercato365 (h/t talkSPORT).
Heurelho Gomes (Tottenham Hotspur)
Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes' agent Alex Soares wants the club to release his client. He told Pete O'Rourke at Sky Sports:
The club is paying high wages and are not using the player. They have other very good goalkeepers [Hugo Lloris and Brad Friedel] as well. At the moment I have received interest from three clubs in relation to Heurelho [Gomes]. I trust Tottenham will release him for free now as his contract is running out. Or, if they want him to stay, they must offer an extension and also give him an opportunity to fight for the No. 1 position.
In the last January transfer window, Spurs loaned Gomes out to Hoffenheim.
Iker Casillas (Real Madrid)
Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has yet to start one La Liga game 20 league games into the season, with management preferring Diego Lopez.
Not even one La Liga game for Casillas, a FIFA World Cup-winning goalkeeper? Outrageous.
He made 10 saves in a 2-2 UEFA Champions League draw against Juventus last November and still could not get game time in La Liga.
Casillas is class personified and remaining a true professional, per Marca:
Please let's stop talking about my situation because even I'm bored of it. The coach [Carlo Ancelotti] makes the decisions and people should enjoy watching whoever he picks. I'm also happy for the team, which is looking very focused, working hard and doing really well defensively.
Javier Pastore (Paris Saint-Germain)
Javier Pastore scored and created 19 Ligue 1 games in his debut Paris Saint-Germain season. In his last three seasons, his total attacking output has been 16 goals.
He has declined with every season, so PSG need to cut their losses, but chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi is staying loyal to his struggling star.
"We will never forget he was one of the very first key players to join our project," Al-Khelaifi said to L'Equipe, per Sky Sports. "We are loyal to our players as we ask them to be loyal to the club."
Juan Mata (Chelsea)
"Negotiations between officials from the two clubs are at an advanced stage, with the transfer said to be "almost complete" by sources close to the discussions," Jackson and Fifield wrote. "[Mata] has completed 90 minutes only three times this season."
Mata has not scored a Premier League goal this season and has struggled under Blues manager Jose Mourinho.
Regarding a potential move to United, has he not been following David Moyes' treatment of Shinji Kagawa?
Like Mata, Kagawa has failed to score in league play this season, often being forced to the left wing and sporadically playing in his preferred No. 10 position.
Kenneth Vermeer (Ajax)
Ajax goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer has not played an Eredivisie game since the 4-0 defeat to PSV Eindhoven, a game where he made an error.
Ajax have pulled the plug, opting for the quiet-achieving Jasper Cillessen.
Vermeer is open to leaving Ajax.
"I need to playing and I'm not doing that at Ajax," Vermeer told a Dutch newspaper, per Jamie Sanderson at Metro. "I have other options and will discuss them with my agent in January."
Luuk de Jong (Borussia Monchengladbach)
Newcastle United will sign Luuk de Jong from Borussia Monchengladbach for £8.5 million, per Jason Mellor at the Daily Star.
De Jong has played 13 Bundesliga games this season, all off the bench.
He has been unable to beat out Max Kruse and Raffael for a starting position at Gladbach.
In Marquinho's last two seasons, he was a serviceable role player, but now he has deteriorated into an attacking liability.
He averages 0.1 chances created and 0.2 dribbles per game, which gives you an idea how anonymous he has been this season.
As a result, Roma just signed Michel Bastos on loan, which could lead to Marquinho's departure.
He did not want to move to Genoa, as per Football Italia, so the presence of Bastos may force Marquinho into leaving.
Michael Essien (Chelsea)
Ramires, Frank Lampard, John Obi Mikel and David Luiz have started more Premier League games in midfield than Michael Essien.
This means he is the fifth-choice midfielder at Chelsea.
AC Milan and Galatasaray are interested in him, per John Cross at The Mirror, so a move could revitalise Essien's career.
Ryo Miyaichi (Arsenal)
Last June, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger still believed the injury-prone Ryo Miyaichi could overcome his setbacks.
"He has just come out of rehab after a big knee injury and the physios have told me they have never known an attitude like it," Wenger said, per Chris Harris at Arsenal.com. "I have great hopes for Ryo."
Miyaichi is just a squad player, not even making five league appearances this season; therefore, he needs regular playing time.
He had three loan spells at Feyenoord, Bolton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic, so another loan spell will make sense, provided that he is fully fit.
Saber Khalifa (Marseille)
Saber Khalifa was one of Ligue 1's best players for Evian Thonon Gaillard, as he scored 13 times.
Khalifa, who has had a modest footballing career, took up the chance to play for an illustrious club in Marseille.
But at Marseille, he is one of many stars, whereas at Evian, he was the star.
He has only started 11.1 percent of his league games this season, so if he does not want to continue being a bit-part player, he should force a move away from the club.
Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United)
It could finally put an end to Shinji Kagawa's unsuccessful spell at United.
In 14 combined Premier League and UEFA Champions League games, he has yet to score.
Steven Defour (Porto)
Steven Defour's future at Porto remains up in the air, as his agent revealed that the Portuguese club are undecided on loaning or selling him, as per Sky Sports.
By loaning him out, his transfer value could increase, if he plays well.
Porto need to decide if they want the money now or take a calculated gamble on him increasing his market value.
The flip side is that if he flops, then his transfer stock would tumble.
Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal)
Thomas Vermaelen was once the leader of Arsenal's back four, but now he is a backup, making more appearances off the bench (four) than starts (three) in the Premier league this season.
His compatriot Dries Mertens, a Napoli player, has been attempting to convince Vermaelen to leave the Gunners.
"I have already told Vermaelen to come to Napoli 10 times," Mertens said, per Gary Jones at the Daily Star. "The city is magnificent and even [Napoli manager Rafa] Benitez asked me to convince Vermaelen to come here."
Victor Valdes (Barcelona)
Having won six La Liga titles and three UEFA Champions League titles, Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes wants to experience something new and has reiterated his desire to play out his contract at Barca, per Dermot Corrigan at ESPN FC:
I will not stay in Spain, but I do not mind where, when the moment comes I will decide. I have time. It could be Italy, Russia, Germany, China, or crossing the pond [to the Unites States], to go far away. Anyone who knows me knows I hate talking about money. I have never decided anything in my life for money.
Former Barca teammate and current Monaco player Eric Abidal has urged Valdes to choose Monaco as his next club, per Cadena SER (h/t Mark Doyle at Goal.com).
Wilfried Zaha (Manchester United)
Wilfried Zaha's Manchester United nightmare is about to end should he pass his medical at Cardiff City, as per Paul Abbandonato at Wales Online.
"Cardiff City are on the brink of landing Wilfried Zaha," Abbandonato wrote. "The £10 million Manchester United man is today undergoing a medical ahead of a move to the Welsh capital on loan for the rest of the season."
Zaha has only made two Premier League sub appearances for Manchester United and will be given a platform at Cardiff to prove David Moyes wrong.