Is the Premier League About to See the Final Curtain Fall on Some Big Names?

True BlueCorrespondent IAugust 5, 2011

Last season Manchester United waved farewell to Edwin Van Der Sar, Gary Neville and Paul Scholes, all players with long and distinguished Premier League careers.

There are very few players left on United's books with such long-term Premier League associations now but United are surely not going to be alone in having to refresh their squads.

The bodies of a number of other players are now starting to creak a little and injuries are more common place than they once were, and take longer to heal.

At Chelsea, Michael Essien, already a yard slower than in his prime has suffered another knee injury and John Terry was more error prone and had less pace last season than before. Didier Drogba is no spring chicken either and with a new manager in place perhaps he wont finish the season at Stamford Bridge.

Over at Liverpool, Stephen Gerrard has been struggling for some time to get back to full fitness with Jamie Carragher who also might struggle to stay off the treatment table. Joe Cole's injuries and poor form mean that he may have to accept a bit part or drop a division to play a leading role.

Newcastle still have a certain Alan Smith on the payroll but its not likely to be for much longer.

Jonathan Woodgate has turned up at The Brittania Stadium, Stoke but past injuries suggest he has one last roll of the dice left.

Yet it may be Spurs that see the end of a number of long Premier League careers with Robbie Keane seemingly permanently sat by the exit, Niko Kranjcar apparently unwanted and with Ledley King unable to both train and play, meaning this could be the year his body finally screams enough.

It will be strange when these players aren't plying their trade in the Premier League.

But it could well be that managers' hands are forced to move them on earlier than even they would like. The new Financial Fair Play Rules and squad restrictions are adding extra pressures that mean high earners with indifferent fitness are much more a luxury than they ever have been.

I personally hope that these old warhorses are allowed to leave with their heads held high. 

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