Life on the edge – 5 Premier League stars made to wait for a chance to shine

Dele Alli, Donny Van De Beek and Mesut Ozil are among the big-name Premier League players currently struggling for game time.
Dele Alli, Donny Van De Beek and Mesut Ozil are among the big-name Premier League players currently struggling for game time.
13:49pm, Tue 27 Oct 2020
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The Premier League is often heralded for attracting some of the best football talent in the world.

But sometimes even the biggest names struggle to have the desired impact and spend prolonged periods of time warming the bench or watching their team-mates from the comfort of their own homes.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at what is next for a number of the league’s stars currently stuck on the sidelines.

Dele Alli

Dele Alli has found himself on the periphery of Jose Mourinho's Tottenham team of late. (PA Wire)

One of the more surprising names to make the list given what he has given to Tottenham in the past five years.The England international, 24, has made just two starts across all competitions this season after falling down the pecking order under head coach Jose Mourinho.Alli could very much still have a future in north London if he follows the same path as a number of other players given the tough-love treatment by Mourinho in recent times, with the Portuguese following a similar pattern with the likes of Luke Shaw and Tanguy Ndombele.

Kepa Arrizabalaga

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard defender Kepa Arrizabalaga but has since signed a new goalkeeper. (PA Wire)

The world’s most expensive goalkeeper has already been replaced as Chelsea’s first-choice despite only moving to Stamford Bridge just two years ago.Last season saw the Spain international make several mistakes and Kepa carried that over into the early stages of this campaign – notably in the defeat to Premier League champions Liverpool.Chelsea boss Frank Lampard repeatedly defended his goalkeeper but the Blues have since splashed more cash to bring in Edouard Mendy from Rennes, suggesting Kepa could be moved on at the earliest opportunity.

Mesut Ozil

Mesut Ozil was axed from Arsenal's Premier League and Europa League squad by manager Mikel Arteta. (PA Archive)

The highest-paid player in Arsenal’s history has no chance of playing for the club’s first-team until January at the earliest.A startling fall from grace has seen the German World Cup winner axed from both Arsenal’s Premier League and Europa League squad.Manager Mikel Arteta has insisted more than once that Ozil’s omission is based solely on football reasons and, with the 32-year-old’s contract expiring next summer, the writing appears on the wall in regards to his future at the Emirates Stadium.

Xherdan Shaqiri

Xherdan Shaqiri was signed by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp but has fallen down the pecking order at Anfield. (PA Archive)

Signed from Stoke in 2018, Switzerland forward Shaqiri was always seen by many as a back-up option at Liverpool.With the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino key to Jurgen Klopp’s success in both the Champions League and the Premier League, Shaqiri was one of the men to often miss out.The 29-year-old fell further down the Anfield pecking order following the summer arrival of Diogo Jota from Wolves and was expected to leave Liverpool – instead he stayed, but has only started the Carabao Cup tie against Lincoln and a move away is increasingly likely.

Donny Van De Beek

Donny Van De Beek has yet to be handed a Premier League start by Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Arguably the most perplexing of players to make the list, the Holland international’s arrival at Manchester United was much heralded this summer.The 23-year-old joined from Ajax, where he had enjoyed two fine seasons as a creative force in their midfield, for a overall fee worth a reported £40million.But, despite United’s season starting with several stutters, Van De Beek is yet to start a league game for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side as the Red Devils boss seems to be against playing him alongside Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba, who himself has been warming the bench in recent weeks.It may just be a matter of a waiting game for Van De Beek, but time will tell if he was an expensive recruit for a position United did not need to improve upon.

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