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Top 5 players who wasted their talent

Sunday 29th January 2017
We all know that the amount of highly rated young players being churned out by various academies across the countries is astonishing. Clubs in England have an excellent record of developing young players, as do many countries around the world.

But, on some occasions, players who have all the talent in the world cannot sustain it. Here are five players guilty of that particular trait.

5 -  Gregory Van Der Wiel

When Van Der Wiel was 22, he burst onto the scene during the 2010 World Cup playing for the Netherlands. He started five games out of seven including the final defeat to Spain and he then won the Dutch Young Player of the Year award. He spent six years at Ajax winning the Eredivisie twice before PSG came calling. Despite winning 12 trophies in just four years, Van Der Wiel struggled to displace Christophe Jallet. Even after Jallet left the club, Brazillian Marquinhos was preferred at full-back. In 2016 the Dutchman joined Fernabahce but has still failed to make an impression starting just half of the Turkish side's games this season. All this when in 2010, he held talks with the giants of European football; Bayern Munich.

4 - Yoann Gourcuff

A product of the Rennes academy, midfielder Gourcuff was once touted as the next Zinedine Zidane. Before returning to Rennes in 2015 he has won the Champions League with AC Milan, Ligue 1 with Bordeaux and the Ligue 1 player of the year in 2009. Gourcuff was gifted with an incredible first touch and great vision on the pitch. He became the most expensive transfer from one Ligue 1 to another, when Lyon paid 22 million euros for him - but he never quite hit the heights. Injuries have been a big issue for the Frenchman, having missed over 800 days due to medical problems since 2009. Although, some of his injuries seem a bit soft. He once left the pitch leaving Lyon with 10 men because he felt a slight twinge and he once injured his hand high-fiving Alexandre Lacazette. Bad luck? Maybe, maybe not.

3 - Ricardo Quaresma

When he was just 21, Barcelona signed Quaresma and he seemed destined for great things. That summer, the Catalan side also signed Edgar Davids and one Ronaldinho. They also promoted Andres Iniesta from the academy La Masia which meant Quaresma made just 10 appearances and left the club a year later. A winger full of tricks, Quaresma was often compared to fellow Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo, he even had a signature strike favouring the outside of his boot. Despite the flair, he was often maligned for his lack of work rate and selfishness. In 2008 he was named the worst singing in the world after signing for Inter Milan. Despite winning eight league titles and European Championship, Quaresma has had failed stints across the world. Maybe with the right guidance, he could have been a true great of the game.

2 - Giovanni Dos Santos

Every attacking who graduates from La Masia is called "the new Messi". This was definitely said of Giovanni Dos Santos who actually graduated with Messi and was thought of as an equal to his Argentine teammate. In 2005 he was part of the Mexican side that won the under-17s World Cup before leaving Spain for Tottenham, citing lack of games for his reason for leaving. When he moved to London he made more of an effort off the pitch than off it, getting reasonably acquainted with the nightlife of London. Manager at the time Harry Redknapp said: "If he can pass a nightclub as well as he can pass a ball, he'd be alright". After a succession of loan spells, he moved back to Spain playing for Villareal and Mallorca. He then bottled it and moved to the MLS in 2015 signing for LA Galaxy.

1 - Ravel Morrison

Calling the Mancunian a bit of a bad boy is an understatement. Still only 23-years-old, Morrison was hyped up by Sir Alex Ferguson from a young age, who said that the midfielder was the best player he'd ever seen. Morrison won the 2011 Youth Cup alongside Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba and many papers said that he was a bigger talent than his french teammate. But after allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, Morrison left for West Ham in 2012. The Hammers couldn't contain the Englishman either but then he moved to Italian side Lazio where unfortunately he disappointed again. He played just eight times in his first year and was heavily criticised by his coach for laziness and for failing to learn Italian. He is still attracting interest in England with Wigan Athletic keen to sign him which would mean he'd be managed by his former coach at Manchester United Warren Joyce. He still has age on his side, but Morrison needs a harsh reality check.
Tom Staniszewski
I'm Tom and I'm currently a third year journalism student based in Southampton. I'm a Crystal Palace fan and get to as many games as I can. I enjoy watching football from various leagues across Europe and I plan to host a football related radio show in the near future.

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