10 Premier League players already regretting failed summer moves


Photo by Harriet Lander – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

With the transfer window closed, these 10 Premier League misfits can already be counting down the minutes until the end of January.

Amazing Nakamba – Aston Villa

According to reports, Steven Gerrard was unwilling to let Nakamba leave Villa Park amid uncertainty surrounding another of his midfielders heading into the deadline day. Now that Douglas Luiz is set to stay put until January at the earliest, the Zimbabwean international may consider himself a bit of a workhorse.

Of course, Gerrard described Nakambu as an “outstanding” talent after taking over from Dean Smith last year. Since then, however, injuries and the arrival of Boubacar Kamara have pushed the former Club Brugge ace significantly down the pecking order.

Frederic Guilbert – Aston Villa

Guilbert admitted at the start of the summer that he did not expect to still be an Aston Villa player in the 2022/23 season. It would be an unpleasant surprise for him if it emerged that a number of Ligue 1 clubs – including Lyon – had decided against releasing the right-back from his Villa Park purgatory (L’Equipe).

Guilbert is said to be training with the reserves at Bodymoor Heath these days.

Jairo Riedewald – The Crystal Palace

Last week, Patrick Vieira admitted that Riedewald could leave if the right offer arrived before Thursday’s deadline. It never happened. As such, the versatile Dutchman is in danger of becoming something of a forgotten man at Selhurst Park; though his flexibility will still come in handy should an injury-crisis strike.

Hakim Ziyech – Chelsea

The impending appointment of Graham Potter as Thomas Tuchel’s replacement should, in theory, see the likes of Ziyech, Christian Pulisic and co keep a clean sheet at Stamford Bridge. But Potter’s preference for pace in wide areas means Ziyech – mercurial, occasionally spectacular but often frustrating – should be nervously looking over his shoulder at Armando Broja.

Come to think of it, he could have rejoined an Ajax team that would make another assault on the Champions League.

Alan – Everton

Amadou Onana and Tom Davies as Everton’s disciplined, dogged players kept Liverpool at arm’s length in last week’s Merseyside derby, proving they can be relied upon to go with the best the Premier League has to offer. Onana’s exuberance and energy saw the £35million summer signing immediately replace 31-year-old Allan in Frank Lampard’s pecking order.

After Serie A outfit Salernitana ruled out a move for the experienced Brazilian, it looks like he will have to get used to being on short notice.

Josh Onomah – Fulham

Both Josh Onoham and Steven Alzate saw deadline day moves to West Brom collapse in the 11Thursday hour. At least Alzate could still end up in Standard Liège. However, Onomah looks set to be denied an alternative escape route. No longer part of Marco Silva’s plans at Craven Cottage, he is now stuck in the dreaded ‘bomb squad’ (Athletic).

Nat Phillips – Liverpool

Photo by MB Media/Getty Images

This required injuries to Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Ibrahim Konate for Jurgen Klopp to drop Phillips into his starting XI for the first time in a year and a half during Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace in August. After the so-called ‘Bolton Baresi’ struggled to deal with Wilfried Zaha’s razor-sharp movement, one suspects he will be waiting a while for another chance.

When everyone is fit, Phillips is at best Liverpool’s fifth centre-half.

Jamal Lewis – Newcastle United

Lewis was at one point a target for a Nice side who were building a team littered with Premier League failures. However, the £15m former Norwich City left-back would not end the summer on the French Riviera alongside Ross Barkley, Nicolas Pepe, Aaron Ramsey, Morgan Schneiderlin and Joe Bryan.

Instead, he looks destined to spend the next few months watching Matt Targett cement his place in Eddie Howe’s XI.

Theo Walcott – Southampton

it wasn’t supposed to be like this. In 2020, Walcott made an emotional return to his home on the south coast. After two years, you might have forgotten that he is a 47-time England international still at St Mary’s.

Walcott, amid interest from Cardiff and West Brom, appeared to have little interest in relegating him to the Championship. But surely second-rate football is better than none.

Pope Matar Sarr – Tottenham Hotspur

Had Rodrigo Bentancur not picked up an injury in the 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest, Sarr would likely have left for another loan before the 11pm deadline. Instead, Antonio Conte opted to retain the 19-year-old’s services due to concerns about his midfield depth, only for Bentancur to return to full fitness almost immediately after the window closed.

Teenage Sarr needs regular first-team football if he is to build on the potential he showed across La Mancha at Metz. Unlikely to get it in North London.

Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

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