10 Premier League Players Who Disappeared from View This Season
With the Professional Footballers' Association's Team of the Year, Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year having recently been awarded to the respective deserving candidates, it serves to highlight how there’s been a number of forgotten players who showed such promise earlier on in the campaign.
Many players found themselves tipped for a successful season after impressing early on but have failed to finish as strongly as they’d started it and have now been largely forgotten about. Some have spent more time on the bench than playing in recent months which has led to their stock greatly falling.
So who are the players that have completely disappeared from view this season?
Arsenal: Carl Jenkinson
After appearing in Arsenal’s first four league fixtures in his third season at the Emirates, defender Carl Jenkinson was tipped to be Bacary Sagna’s potential long-term replacement at right-back.
The 22-year old made 10 league appearances in the first half of the season, but he has been an unused substitute on 12 occasions in 2014.
After joining the club three years ago, bigger things were undoubtedly expected of Jenkinson than cameo appearances, especially considering he made league 14 starts in 2012/13. However, his progress hasn't been as quick as manager Arsene Wenger would have hoped, and Jenkinson's name has barely been spoken about for a long time.
Manchester City: Micah Richards
Manchester City right-back Micah Richards has been a player on the periphery for a while. At the start of the season, the 25-year-old was speaking about his aspirations of playing for England, via David Anderson of The Mirror, but he has spent the majority of the campaign warming the substitutes bench as right-back Pablo Zabaleta has continued to be City's first choice.
Richards has featured just twice in the Premier League this season, while being an unused substitute on 15 occasions. He tipped himself to be a pivotal figure in England's 2014 World Cup squad, but he hasn’t turned out for the national team since 2012.
Crystal Palace: Dwight Gayle
Dwight Gayle burst onto the scene after the Crystal Palace striker scored a penalty against Sunderland to help his side to a 3-1 win back in September. Newspapers and football websites, like Paul Brown of the Daily Star, documented the "rags to riches story" of the 23-year-old coming from nonleague obscurity to Premier League glory in the space of a couple of years, but fast forward another seven months, and now, very few speak his name.
Gayle has netted just three goals in 21 Premier League games, and he has made just five substitute appearances in 2014.
Liverpool: Kolo Toure
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure got off to a dream start after joining the Reds on a free last summer. The 33-year-old was a regular in the lineup for 10 of their opening 13 games, but he eventually found himself an unused substitute due to poor form.
The former Arsenal and Manchester City centre-back has been made to settle for one cameo appearance in the last 11 weeks.
Swansea City: Michu
Last season’s bargain buy Miguel Michu has been a big disappointment for Swansea this campaign. The Spanish forward looked to have started his second term in fine form after scoring twice in the league and three times in Europe.
But the 28-year old has failed to register a league goal since. Supporters have to rewind back to September 2013 for the last time Michu scored in the Premier League. His name was all you'd hear last season, but now, he's been a forgotten man.
Cardiff City: Wilfried Zaha
England Under-21 international Wilfried Zaha impressed in pre-season with parent club Manchester United, but he barely featured in the first half of the campaign for the Premier League holders, making just two substitute league appearances.
The 21-year-old was loaned out to Cardiff City in January, but he has only made four league starts for the Bluebirds. Zaha has started once for Cardiff since February. After being tipped so highly by Manchester United team-mate Rio Ferdinand last summer, via Sky Sports, it's been a big fall from grace for Zaha.
Manchester City: Alvaro Negredo
The Beast, as he is known to the supporters, has hit a quiet patch for Manchester City of late. Alvaro Negredo got his City career off to a great start after scoring nine goals in 20 games. But the striker is currently on a 10-game goal drought, while making just one league start in the last five weeks.
Following his bright start, the 28-year-old tipped himself to spearhead the Spain attack in this summer’s World Cup, as per the Manchester Evening News (h/t Sky Sports), but he just cannot replicate his early season form.
Manchester City: Jesus Navas
Manchester City's summer signing, Jesus Navas, has been an overall disappointment. The pacey winger was making regular appearances for the Spain national team and was tipped to be a key player in City's title challenge earlier on in the season by Jason Gomez of BSports.com.
But the 28-year-old has stopped making the headlines and has continued to find himself substituted in league games for City. Navas has only made one full, 90-minute appearance in the league since early February.
Manchester United: Adnan Januzaj
Manchester United hot prospect Adnan Januzaj greatly impressed in his earlier showings for the Red Devils, scoring a memorable brace against Sunderland to complete the comeback from 1-0 down to take all three points in an emphatic away win.
However, the 19-year old looks to have fizzled out. He’s found himself an unused substitute in two of United’s previous four league games, while having made just one start in the last six weeks.
Tottenham: Andros Townsend
Andros Townsend’s decline will have surprised many. The Tottenham winger, 22, was tipped by some, including Phil McNulty of BBC Sport, to become an important player for England after scoring a screamer on his international debut for the Three Lions, rifling a right-footed effort in from distance against Montenegro.
Since his return from injury in February, Townsend has amassed just 309 minutes of playing time in the Premier League. He’s scored just one goal all season, too.