Which Premier League fringe players could seek new pastures this summer?
Danny Ings has been unlucky at Liverpool. First injury, then Jurgen Klopp and Gengen press pushed him further away from the starting XI. Starting fresh elsewhere is the best thing. He is not alone.
Many other Premier Leaguers are sitting at home, watching the World Cup, after failing to gain the minutes needed to earn a place in their national squad. Further, the curtailed Premier League transfer window should see plenty of players seeking pastures new in the next month or so. Here are a few possible candidates.
Another Liverpool striker who has been frozen out, Origi spent last season on loan at Wolfsburg. Now returned, there are reports the Belgian may be given the pre-season to prove he still has a future Merseyside. But with Roberto Firmino now established as the main striker, with Daniel Sturridge and Dominic Solanke also in the fold, Origi could decide the time is right to move. Where? A host of clubs could take a punt on the 23-year-old, including Newcastle, Fulham, Cardiff and Watford.
Another victim of the injury bug, Zouma was set to finally break into the Chelsea first team when his ACL went. By the time he was ready to return, the Blues had re-signed David Luiz, bought Antonio Rudiger and seen Andreas Christensen come to the fore. With Cesar Azpilicueta established and Gary Cahill wearing the captain's armband, Zouma went on loan to Stoke.
After a season spent fighting relegation, his prospects have improved only marginally. Still unlikely to be first-choice he could find minutes in the Europa League. If Antonio Conte leaves, as expected, then a return to a back four would limit his opportunities further. Still young, Zouma could appeal to Everton and Southampton, among clubs shopping for a new centre back.
Here's a strange one. Antonio was a key player at West Ham for the past two seasons but lost his place towards the end of 2017/18. He has been suffering from hamstring injuries and plays in a position where the Hammers are overstocked. A new manager and Manuel Lanzini's injury could offer Antonio a reprieve but he could also decide on a more permanent solution. Everton, Leicester, Crystal Palace and Watford are all in the market for a scoring winger.
This one was to be expected. RLC went on loan for game time, performed well and finds himself at the World Cup whilst others brought in to play in his position find themselves microwaving popcorn and sitting in front of the telly. Loftus-Cheek has no incentive to return to the same situation at Stamford Bridge. As a box-to-box midfielder with a good passing range and boundless energy, there ought to be no end of interest in his services. Loan club Crystal Palace will be at the head of the line, with West Ham queueing up just behind.
The Frenchman is 27, now. Time is not waiting on him. A loan spell at spell at Everton was curtailed by injury just as he looked to be finding his feet. Mangala is clearly surplus to requirements at the Etihad and will undoubtedly flog his wares in the market. Everton could try to extend his loan given their pressing need for a new centre-half. Southampton, Burnley and Fulham could also be in the market for a central defender with Premier League experience.
Bernd Leno's arrival has relegated the Colombian international to third-choice in the Arsenal nets. It’s unlikely he will settle for that. It seems inevitable he'll seek a new club once Colombia’s World Cup campaign concludes (hopefully on Tuesday). Premier League clubs in need of a goalkeeper are thin on the ground. Ospina could move abroad. But if he does stay in the Premier League, Fulham or Watford could be his best options.
Not automatically a name that would spring to mind as a fringe player. Simpson was a crucial part of Leicester’s title-winning campaign and a starter for most of last season. Yet towards the end, Daniel Amartey assumed his role. Then Leicester signed Ricardo Perreira from Porto as [presumably] their new right back. Simpson appears surplus to requirements at the King Power Stadium. He will find no shortage of suitors. The usual suspects already mentioned will all kick his tyres, and Wolves could be looking to upgrade their number two shirt.