The 2020-21 Premier League season is almost over with three clubs relegated and Manchester City confirmed as champions, but the race for European slots are up for grabs and most other teams would look to start building towards the next season. In the analysis of the current season, teams like Manchester United would be finding ways to include signings like Donny van de Beek in the first XI more regularly from next season.
There’s no doubt that all football clubs have been financially affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and in order to build for next season, most Premier League teams would be looking at their player wage bills. Here we’ve identified five such players from the traditional ‘big six’, who have found it difficult to break into the first XI and are on high wages as well.
DONNY VAN DE BEEK (Manchester United)
Donny van de Beek was one of the top signings ahead of the season but has had a slow start to life in Manchester. There is an abundance of creative attacking midfielders in the team and Donny finds himself on the bench on most matchdays. The rise of Bruno Fernandes at the club has meant that others in his position either need to find a different position for themselves on the field or stay on the bench, as the Portuguese has become an indispensable member of the squad currently. Donny is a quality player and once he gets a look in the starting XI next season, he’d certainly want to make that position his own.
ALEX OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN (Liverpool)
Liverpool have had horrendous luck when it comes to injuries in their squad this season and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was one of those who was injured in the early part of the campaign. Since his return to full fitness, he has failed to make his way in the XI and has appeared only a handful of times in the Premier League, with a majority of the appearances coming from the bench. Liverpool need to take a call on the midfielder ahead of the next season as he is proving to be quite injury prone and there are way too many options in the midfield for Jurgen Klopp to choose from.
JUAN MATA (Manchester United)
Juan Mata’s best days in Premier League football seem behind him and some people believe that it’s time for the Spanish creative player to move on from Manchester United. As mentioned earlier, the creative midfield spot at United has been taken for some time now and Mata is the kind of player who cannot play in any other position but as a number 10. Don’t be surprised if he gets a move away from Old Trafford in the summer.
NABY KEITA (Liverpool)
Naby Keita, to date, stands as Liverpool’s costliest signing but it hasn’t yet worked out for the midfielder in the Premier League. He has been injured way too often. Whenever he starts to gain some rhythm in his game, another long-term injury follows. His quality isn’t the question here but his ability to cope up with the physicality that the Premier League demands has come under the scanner regularly. This season, Jurgen Klopp has been hesitant in making too many changes in the midfield given how often he has had to change his defence due to injuries. That has meant that opportunities for Keita have been limited and whenever he has been given a start, he has failed to deliver.
DELE ALLI (Tottenham Hotspur)
Dele Alli was hailed as the next big thing in English football in his early days with Tottenham after his move from MK Dons. But now he finds himself out of favour in the Spurs side and not even in the reckoning for the English national team. His downfall has been quite dramatic and his desire to work hard has been questioned many times. He was linked with a move away from the club in January but Tottenham kept him hoping that they’d see a new and improved Alli. There were rumours that he didn’t quite enjoy Spurs’ negative tactics under their former manager Jose Mourinho and his form seems to be improving under the interim manager Ryan Mason. The next managerial appointment at Spurs is an important factor to decide the future of Alli at the club.
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