Premier League redundancies - a look at the most expendable player at each club.

Seven days since the lockdown. Seventeen days since the Premier League's postponement.


And lots of speculation about our future economy.


Naturally, the prospect of Premier League clubs going under is unforeseeable. The high volumes of revenue generated from television sales and mass-media coverage will act as a handy care package when the league restarts; most clubs will simply stay rather quiet in the transfer markets and escape somewhat unscathed.


However, in case the economic hangover after coronavirus causes too much of a financial headache, managers may already be thinking about their most expendable players. If the owner or chief executive came knocking on each manager's door in six months time with an ultimatum, who would be the first player on their respective chopping blocks?


AFC Bournemouth - Andrew Surman

Image Source


As a club with such a small squad, it's challenging to find a player that Eddie Howe doesn't rely on. However, in view of the fact that Bournemouth have always been a progressive club that cares deeply about the future, Surman will likely find himself a feature of their reserves in years to come.


Despite establishing himself as an excellent servant for the club at 32 years old, he hasn't seen as much first team football since Philip Billing's arrival this summer. What's more, with club captain, Simon Francis, and reserve goalkeeper, Artur Boruc, offering the experience in the dressing-room, Surman's age and knowhow is perhaps not as vital as it once was.


Arsenal - Sead Kolasinac

Image Source


With Scottish youngster Kieran Tierney arriving at the Emirates last August and Bukayo Saka moulding impressively into the fullback position this season, Sead Kolasinac is unlikely to be a part of Arteta's long term plans.


The former Schalke fullback has been criticised defensively since his transfer in 2017 and with solidity at the back seemingly a feature of Arteta's philosophy, he would likely sit on the bench as a deputy to either of the two aforementioned. Perhaps an ideal opportunity to offload the supposed £100,000 they pay him weekly...


Aston Villa - Henri Lansbury

Image Source


Having appeared in only 12 league games over the last two seasons, Lansbury has become accustomed to life on the sidelines. Having established himself as a bit of a Championship journeyman since leaving Arsenal during his youth, it may be fair to say that this is where the midfielder can thrive during the remainder of his career.


Cashing in a whopping £40,000 a week for simply sitting on the bench, Lansbury has surely got to be the first to go if Villa are forced to ship players. However, Jack Grealish, who has been linked with a move to Manchester United, may soon be on the way out, leaving a glimmer of hope for Lansbury if he wishes to remain at Villa Park.


Brighton and Hove Albion - Florin Andone

Image Source


Andone featured three times at the start of Brighton's campaign, recording one goal and one red card during that time. However, Potter decided the Romanian's services would not be necessary for the remainder of the season, loaning him out to Galatasaray on September 2nd.


Unfortunately, the striker hasn't impressed there either, appearing only six times for the Turkish club; it would be a surprise if they offered Brighton a deal to make the move permanent. Therefore, it seems likely that Andone will be back on the south coast next year, warming the bench until Potter finds him a new home.


Burnley - Joe Hart

Image Source


With Nick Pope's game steadily improving every year, Burnley should be pleased with their decision last August to sell their former club captain and goalkeeper, Tom Heaton. Now, it may be time to part with yet another English veteran.


Although many have criticised Joe Hart for his shortcomings in recent years, he is still a capable goalkeeper who can perform at a high level. Unfortunately, he is pricey, currently costing Burnley £45,000 a week to sit on standby.


If Sean Dyche had to find expendable players somewhere, he'd surely have to start with England's former No.1, as Bailey Peacock-Farrell seems ready to step in as Pope's deputy. I would love to see Joe Hart move either abroad or to the Championship in search of first team football, otherwise his career may end with a whimper.


Chelsea - Tiemoué Bakayoko

Image Source


The French midfielder has spent two of his last three seasons away from Stamford Bridge, enduring loan spells with AC Milan and AS Monaco in an attempt to revamp his career.


As Chelsea is blessed with Jorginho and Kante anchoring the side at the base of midfield, and Bakayoko not exactly impressing in Ligue 1 this campaign, Frank Lampard will be seriously contemplating whether keeping the Frenchman is worthwhile, especially considering his supposed £110,000 weekly wage.


Crystal Palace - Scott Dann

Image Source


How Christian Benteke hasn't made this list is something of a minor miracle, yet the Belgian striker has improved slightly since the turn of the year and, with goals being something of a rarity for the Eagles this season, Crystal Palace should look to hold onto him until they find a long term replacement.


Instead, Roy Hodgson may look to move Scott Dann away from Selhurst Park. Gary Cahill has almost replaced the role Dann once accommodated at the heart of defence, with Sakho, Tomkins, and Kelly emerging as the main competitors to partner him. Although it's likely he'd do everything to keep Dann at the club, Hodgson may feel it's time for the veteran to move on were cutbacks to be made.


Everton - Morgan Schneiderlin

Image Source


Carlo Ancelotti's success with the 4-4-2 formation this season means that Everton players are forced to challenge for one less place in central midfield. With Sigurdsson, Delph, Davies and Gomes all competing for the two first team spots, Schneiderlin's value at the club has inevitably fallen, especially considering that last year's summer signing, Jean-Philippe Gbamin, will be returning from injury in preseason.


Moreover, it is estimated that the Frenchman's wage, influenced by the salary he once had at Old Trafford, has him earning £100,000 a week; disposing of this contract would healthily free up funds and give Ancelotti a little extra pocket money in the upcoming transfer windows.


Leicester City - Adrien Silva

Image Source


With the Foxes exceeding expectations this season, it's hard to find a player Brendan Rodgers would be happy to give up. That is from the current squad, at least.


However, Adrien Silva has been on loan at AS Monaco since January 2019, totalling 0 goals and 1 assist in that time. Although a deep-lying playmaker is not judged on goals and assists alone, this form cannot be compared to that of the Adrien Silva Leicester once signed from Sporting Lisbon. It's probably time for him to permanently leave the King Power.


Liverpool - Adrian

Image Source


At the beginning of the season, Adrian looked to be settling in well at Anfield; he deputised reliably for Alisson during the Brazilian's first spell out with injury. However, the Spaniard has been extremely error prone in 2020, notably costing Liverpool their place in the quarter finals of the Champions League with an inexcusable mistake against Athletico Madrid.


When Loris Karius' two year loan to Besiktas expires this summer, Klopp will have to decide who is the better second choice between the Spaniard and the German. Hopefully, after their success in the competition last year, and Adrian becoming the most recent public enemy, Liverpool fans will be more forgiving towards Karius in his return. As Karius has been able to work on his game out of the limelight, Klopp should give the returnee his vote of confidence by shipping Adrian.


Manchester City - John Stones

Image Source


Frailty at the back has been the story of Manchester City's season. Kompany's departure, Laporte's frequent injury problems and Pep's failure to recruit reinforcements has left a gaping hole in City's defence. Yet, rather than opting for his recognised centre half during this time of need, Guardiola has chosen to mould Fernandinho into the role.


With only 11 appearances to his name this season, Stones has clearly fallen out of favour at the Etihad. As Pep is already eyeing a move for Leonardo Bonucci, it seems Stones is by far the most expendable player in Manchester City's illustrious roster.


Manchester United - Phil Jones

Image Source


With Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof building a long term partnership at the back, it's clear that Phil Jones is not part of Solskjaer's first team plans; in fact, Jones, Rojo and Bailly have only appeared in a total of seven Premier League games between them this season.


Although all three of these players should be considering a move away from Old Trafford, Jones is probably the defender Solskjaer is happiest to let go. Bailly could still emerge as a solid competitor to either Maguire or Lindelof in the future, whilst Rojo's ability to cover at left back could prove useful in case of several injuries and suspensions.


Just like Smalling did last summer, Jones needs to escape the burdensome expectation of playing for United by moving overseas.


Newcastle United - Yoshinori Muto

Image Source


Scoring only one Premier League goal for Newcastle since his arrival, it's fair to say that Muto hasn't yet justified the £9.5 million price tag that brought him to St. James Park in 2018.


Sharing the accolade with Norwich for the worst attacking side in the league so far, Newcastle have really struggled for goals this season, scoring only 25 in 29 appearances.


When Steve Bruce brought Joelinton to the club this summer, he stated that you, as a football club, 'are only as good as your striker', demonstrating his need for a natural goalscorer to lead the line. Muto hasn't given Bruce any assurance that he's the right man for the job.


Norwich City - Moritz Leitner

Image Source


Ondrej Duda and Lukas Rupp, Daniel Farke's new midfield signings from the Bundesliga, have generated competition for places in the middle of the park at Norwich. Already playing second fiddle to the likes of Vrancic, McLean, Trybull and Tettey, Leitner is unlikely to remain at Carrow Road for too much longer, having fallen out of favour with the Canaries' boss.


Who would have thought that Norwich, a side placed 20th in the Premier League, would see someone who once sat on the bench in a Champions League final as an expendable asset?


Sheffield United - Billy Sharp

Image Source


The Blades have surprised everybody this year. Placed only 5 points off fourth spot, Chris Wilder has done a remarkable job at Bramall Lane and will be eager to show next season that Sheffield United are here to stay.


The spine of their success has come at the back, with their well coached centre halves offering rigidity in defence and fluidity in attack.


Therefore, in order to progress as an outfit, Wilder will be keen to bolster their options upfront this summer. At 34 years of age, Billy Sharp is unlikely to be a part of the manager's long term plans.


Southampton - Jannik Vestergaard

Image Source


Vestergaard's lack of mobility and pace in defence has made it difficult for him to adjust to the style of the Premier League. Consequently, the Dane seems to have lost the trust of the fans and the manager at St. Mary's.


Although Danny Ings is undoubtedly Southampton's player of the season, Jan Bednarek has enjoyed a solid campaign after becoming a regular in the starting lineup. Vestergaard is unlikely to regain Hasenhüttl's trust any time soon, which could make him a sellable option in the near future.


Tottenham Hotspur - Eric Dier

Image Source


With Dier out of contract next summer, and Spurs keen to avoid the Christian Eriksen situation that haunted them this season, Mourinho is likely to flog the Englishman at first opportunity.


Perhaps having fallen victim to positional rotation over the years, Dier has struggled to demonstrate his worth; he's not defensive enough to play at centre back or comfortable enough on the ball to play in holding midfield. Daniel Levy must be keen to offload the £60,000 he costs the club every week.


Watford - Sebastian Prödl

Image Source


The Austrian was the main feature of Watford's defence during their first season back in the Premier League. However, having played only two league games in the last two seasons, Prödl must be struggling to justify the £2.3 million a year he earns just by warming the bench. He's surely the first to go if the club are forced to sell.


West Ham United - Roberto

Image Source


The Spanish goalkeeper has been an absolute disaster since arriving at the club, failing to deputise Fabianski reliably. Currently on loan at Deportivo Alavés, West Ham will be keen to negotiate a permanent contract to see him leave the London Stadium as soon as possible.


Although Roberto is by far the most expendable, Jack Wilshere is undergoing a hernia operation due to yet another injury; if David Moyes were asked which player he'd most like to see taken off the books, he'd surely say the former Arsenal midfielder, who is eating up £100,000 a week.


Regardless, Roberto must be first to go as the Hammers are unlikely to sell Wilshere while he's out injured.


Wolverhampton Wanderers - Patrick Cutrone

Image Source


Finding a superfluous player from Wolves' roster was perhaps the hardest task of all. It seems all of Santo's players fulfil their roles and expectations capably - which is probably why they find themselves 6th in the table.


Therefore, the manager will be eager not to tamper with the dynamic of the squad. Former AC Milan prospect, Patrick Cutrone, is out on loan at Fiorentina; it's possible that he may be the first to go if Wolves are forced to sell players. Currently, he is the third highest earner at the club and Santo must be contemplating whether there are cheaper young prospects available.



What are your thoughts? Who is the most expendable at your club? Comment below!


All wage figures taken from www.spotrac.com

39 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All