10 Englishmen Who Need a Move to Save Their Careers
Jack Rodwell's recent move from Manchester City to Sunderland should inspire a large group of young, faltering Englishmen to search for a transfer to save their careers.
According to Luke Roberts of The Telegraph, the £10 million deal was spurred by Rodwell's inactivity this summer during England's World Cup campaign.
The publication quotes the 23-year-old as saying:
Watching the World Cup left a little bit of a bitter taste in my mouth, I was supporting the team 100 per cent, but I also wanted to be there so I think it’s time I put that right, get back playing and get back in the squad.
It will take some form for former Everton man to force his way back into the international fold, but his move to Sunderland is a step in the right direction.
With Rodwell's ambition in mind, here are 10 Englishmen, aged 26 and under, who need a move to save their careers.
All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com
Scott Sinclair (Manchester City)
Position: Attacking midfielder
Manchester City man Scott Sinclair was, like Rodwell, a player who made a big-money move to the Citizens in 2012.
The versatile player has made 11 Premier League appearances in a City shirt. He spent the whole of last season on loan at West Bromwich Albion, making just eight appearances in all competitions and failing to find the net once.
This is a stark contrast to Sinclair's final season before moving to Manchester, during which he made 38 appearances for Brendan Rodgers' Swansea City, scoring eight goals and registering four assists.
In South Wales, the 25-year-old enjoyed a role as the main man and needs a move where this is the case once more.
Possible Destination: Crystal Palace
Martin Kelly (Liverpool)
Local lad Martin Kelly burst onto the Liverpool scene in the 2010/11 season, but he has since faltered due persistent injury issues.
In five seasons with the senior side, Kelly has made 33 Premier League appearances.
According to David Anderson of the Mirror, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers says that Kelly still has a future at the club and that "there will be games next year for the likes of him to come and play in if we continue to qualify in the competitions."
However, in reality, this points once more to a mere peripheral role at the club, with Kelly having fallen down the right-back pecking order behind Glen Johnson, Jon Flanagan, Javier Manquillo and even current West Brom loanee Andre Wisdom.
At 24 years old, Kelly is standing at the precipice of his footballing future, and a move to another Premier League club would suit both parties.
Possible Destination: Aston Villa
Tom Cleverley (Manchester United)
Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley may still reignite his career under new manager Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford, but the much-maligned Englishman makes this list due to his lowly stature prior to this summer.
A successful loan spell in the 2010/11 season with Wigan Athletic kick-started the 24-year-old's top-flight career. He made 25 Premier League appearances for Latics, scoring three goals and making two assists.
Cleverley has since flirted with a first-team role at United but has failed to nail down a permanent place with the Red Devils.
Despite being a creative outlet—with an 89.6 average passing accuracy last season—Cleverley failed to register one assist in 2013/14, and a move could spur an upturn in form for the young midfielder.
Possible Destination: Everton, Southampton
Micah Richards (Manchester City)
Burly Manchester City defender Micah Richards is at a crossroads in his career, following a dismal downturn in fortunes at the Etihad Stadium.
The 26-year-old was an integral member of the Citizens squad in the first few years following the Abu Dhabi United Group takeover, making 70 appearances in three seasons from 2009/10.
However, following the emergence of Pablo Zabaleta as one of world football's leading right-backs, and now with the signing of Bacary Sagna as the Argentine's deputy, Richards must move to further his career.
The likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Newcastle United have been mooted as possible destinations in recent months, although each have now strengthened their right-back options. Nevertheless, the defender wouldn't struggle to find a suitor elsewhere in the Premier League.
Possible Destination: Spurs, West Ham United, Southampton
Kyle Naughton (Spurs)
Ask around and most would be surprised that Spurs defender Kyle Naughton has reached the age of 25 without moving on from the north London club in search of more regular first-team football.
Last season, the versatile full-back made 22 league appearances—a personal best for the Lilywhites.
A loan spell at Paul Lambert's Norwich City in the Premier League in 2011/12 outlined Naughton's potential, with the Englishman impressing at the East Anglian club.
However, the defender remains in a squad role at White Hart Lane. A move could see Naughton kick on and press for a spot in the England side in the future.
Possible Destination: Aston Villa, Leicester City, Swansea City
Ryan Shotton (Stoke City)
Position: Defender and midfielder
Stoke City man Ryan Shotton was once, ostensibly, the perfect defensive option to contend with Robert Huth and Ryan Shawcross in the Potters' defence.
However, that was within Tony Pulis' rigid system, and under new manager Mark Hughes, a shift in styles has seen Shotton pushed down the pecking order.
Last season, the 25-year-old made nine appearances on loan at Wigan Athletic, having been made available by Hughes at the beginning of 2013/14.
Returning to the Britannia Stadium this season, Shotton should look to move on to save his faltering career.
Possible Destination: Burnley
Kyle Bartley (Swansea City)
Position: Defender (Centre)
It is hard to believe that 23-year-old centre-back Kyle Bartley was once one of the most promising young players at Arsenal.
A move to Swansea City has failed to resurrect the fortunes of the defender, and a loan spell at Championship side Birmingham City saw Bartley make 17 appearances and score three goals.
Despite having set his sights on a first-team role in South Wales this season, per the South Wales Evening Post, Bartley will struggle to supplant the imperious Ashley Williams and Chico Flores.
Having impressed in the Championship last season, perhaps a move back down to the second tier is the right option for the faltering young defender.
Possible Destination: A plethora of Championship clubs
Ravel Morrison (West Ham United)
Position: Attacking midfielder
Such is the supreme talent of Ravel Morrison, the 21-year-old dynamo should not find himself on this list.
However, due to an alleged problematic relationship with West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce and a reported run-in with the law, per BBC Sport, the playmaker finds himself at another footballing impasse.
The midfielder outlined his remarkable ability in flashes with the Boleyn Ground club last season, but he will now likely require a move to boost any chance of a Premier League future.
Morrison is a talent that needs to be nurtured closely and carefully. If the right manager can be found, he could still flourish in both the league and on the international stage.
Possible Destination: Crystal Palace, Queens Park Rangers
Ben Amos (Manchester United)
At 24 years old, Manchester United goalkeeper Ben Amos is highly unlikely to secure any kind of future under new manager Louis van Gaal.
In fact, a scathing attack following a 70-yard lob by Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic saw the Dutchmen criticise Amos, per Jamie Jackson of The Guardian: "I am nearly 63 years old and I run when the ball is flying four seconds, fifty metres. What do you think?"
Spanish shot-stopper David de Gea remains United's first-choice goalkeeper, and with Anders Lindegaard waiting in the wings, Amos is unlikely to feature for the Red Devils this season.
A move would be for the best, either challenging a current No. 1 or as first-choice at a lower-tier club.
Possible Destination: The Championship
Sammy Ameobi (Newcastle United)
Position: Attacking midfielder
Not technically an Englishman in footballing terms, having recently pledged fealty to the Nigerian cause, per BBC Sport, Newcastle United's Sammy Ameobi is the perfect example of the bottom end of this scale.
Following in his brother Shola's footsteps on the international stage, the forward could continue this trend by leaving the club in search of further first-team opportunities.
The player made 10 Premier League appearances last season, but he has the raw potential to develop into a solid performer in the top flight—to do so, however, a transfer is a must.
Possible Destination: Crystal Palace, Burnley, Leicester City