Vincent Janssen (Tottenham)
Spurs fans knew this was coming as soon as the Dutch striker picked up a foot injury that would keep him out for weeks on August 21 – a crucial time to offload him to the continent once more after last season’s patchy nine-month spell at Fenerbahce (17 games, five goals).
The Turkish side didn’t fancy taking Janssen permanently during the summer, however – and seemingly, nor did anyone else. Tottenham paid £17 million for the 24-year-old in summer 2016 – that’s £8.5m per Premier League goal so far – and his contract runs until 2020. He didn’t make Mauricio Pochettino’s 25-man squad and will now be kicking his heels until January at least.
Lazar Markovic (Liverpool)
Markovic isn’t new to a list like this, what with him not having actually played for Liverpool since May 2015. Let that sink in for a second: approaching three-and-a-half years without kicking a ball for his contracted club, having cost them an eye-watering £20m in July 2014. Not Brendan’s finest signing, for sure.
Liverpool thought they were finally doing away with the Serbian for a mere £2.9m to Anderlecht last week, only for the deal to collapse. “They almost did a crazy effort for the player, but it wasn’t enough,” huffed the Belgians’ manager, Hein Vanhaezebrouck. “It’s his own fault that the deal fell through.”
The 24-year-old later pleaded innocence via Twitter, but it was too late. Markovic has spent time on loan at Fenerbahce, Sporting CP, Hull and Anderlecht since August 2015, but somehow remains at Anfield. Once a Red...
Andy King (Leicester)
Being packed off on loan to Swansea for the second half of 2017/18 told King his time was up Leicester, after almost 12 years in the Foxes’ first team and club legend status in the bag. “My time at Leicester had come to an end,” he noted. “I wasn’t really involved and I’m not one of those players who wants to train and not be involved on a Saturday.”
Unfortunately for the 29-year-old midfielder, though, that’s exactly what he’ll be doing. King has been left out of Claude Puel’s 25-man squad after failing to land a move elsewhere this summer – perhaps in part thanks to the new contract he earned after Leicester’s title win in 2015/16.
Younes Kaboul, Marvin Zeegelaar (Watford)
Two Hornets defenders without futures at Vicarage Road. Javi Gracia did his best to tell them they weren’t wanted – specifically declaring that Kaboul was fit but not training with the team, presumably while winking with unnatural regularity – but couldn’t offload either in the end.
Kaboul has, in fairness, endured a horrific time with injuries during his time in Hertfordshire and hasn’t played for Watford since limping off against Southampton in September 2017.
Dutchman Zeegelaar, meanwhile, only joined from Sporting CP last summer – on a four-year contract, no less – but was restricted to just 13 appearances in 2017/18 and hasn’t turned out since February. At least he made Watford’s squad, though, unlike his defensive colleague.
Eliaquim Mangala (Manchester City)
Mangala also made the 25-man cut for Pep Guardiola, but will only be used as a last resort this season. Last term the Frenchman was farmed out to Everton on loan, but only managed two appearances before succumbing to a knee injury.
The 27-year-old is likely behind John Stones, Vincent Kompany, Nicolas Otamendi, Aymeric Laporte, Kyle Walker, Fernandinho, Danilo, Fabian Delph, Benjamin Mendy, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Ilkay Gundogan, Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva, Leroy Sane, Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, Ederson and Moonchester in the central defensive pecking order, but might get a look-in if a dodgy lasagne makes its way to the Etihad Campus.
It’s easy to forget that Mangala has been a Manchester City player for four years now, and is now in the last year of his contract following that disastrous £32m move from Porto.
Adam Legzdins (Burnley)
You can’t get Legzdins off your brain, we know. Maybe now you really won’t, though, knowing that Sean Dyche has collected five goalkeepers in his Burnley squad for 2018/19.
Legzdins has never played for the Clarets since signing from Birmingham in summer 2017, and now ‘competes’ for football with *deep breath* Tom Heaton, Anders Lindegaard, Nick Pope (currently injured) and new arrival Joe Hart.
You won’t be surprised to learn that the 31-year-old hasn’t made Burnley’s Premier League squad.
Carl Jenkinson (Arsenal)
Poor Jenks. Or is that Lucky Jenks? An ankle knack has meant that the right-back won’t get a transfer out of the Emirates Stadium until January at least, meaning he still gets to carry the all-important bio of ‘professional footballer for Arsenal and England’ on his Instagram page.
Jenkinson hasn’t actually played for the Gunners since November 2016, and ended up on the losing side in each of his seven Championship appearances during an injury-hit loan at Birmingham last year.
And so the boyhood Gooner – whose bedroom at his parents’ house was still decked out in Arsenal paraphernalia when he played for them in 2012 – will stay put where he is for now, and appears to have a contract through to 2020. Two. More. Years!
Yohan Benalouane (Leicester)
The centre-back has been clinging on for dear life at Leicester for a while now, and won’t feature for the Foxes in the league this season having been predictably omitted from their 25-man roster.
Benalouane actually played at the World Cup this summer after a late declaration to play for Tunisia, but that wasn’t enough to bag a move away from the King Power Stadium despite purported interest from clubs including Parma (a former side of his) and Nantes. Wages have always appeared to be a stumbling block in shifting him off the books, and push did not come to shove over the summer.
In reality, he’s probably now eighth-choice centre-back for Puel. Some going.
Divock Origi (Liverpool)
For most of the transfer window it looked like Origi would be packing his bags for good at Anfield, but neither Valencia nor Borussia Dortmund were willing to meet Liverpool’s £27m asking price.
Origi’s father said there was “no way” his son would be going out on loan again, so the 23-year-old Belgian is still on Merseyside and has been named in their Champions League squad.
As well as the immovable Roberto Firmino, however, he also has a sharper Daniel Sturridge and Dominic Solanke for competition. Rather him than us.
Rolando Aarons (Newcastle)
Kingston-born Aarons actually made four Premier League appearances for Newcastle last season, all before the turn of the year, and then headed out on a character-building loan at relegated Hellas Verona in Serie A (matches played in: 11; matches lost: nine).
An achilles injury had effectively ruled him out of the Magpies’ entire 2016/17 in the Championship – a shame after some lively outings the previous campaign which he rounded off with a goal and assist in Newcastle’s 5-1 final-day thumping of Tottenham.
Aarons is 22 now, though, and didn’t make the cut for Rafa Benitez’s 25-man squad. As a result, he’ll be kicking balls in anger for the under-23s until January – and what comes next is anyone’s guess at this stage.
Lee Tomlin, Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff)
Neither left south Wales this summer; neither can play in the Premier League.
Nottingham Forest were frontrunners for Tomlin’s signature after a successful loan swap deal with Jamie Ward last season, but Aitor Karanka’s side instead turned attentions abroad towards multimillion-pound deals for the likes of Joao Carvalho and Diogo Goncalves from Benfica.
Tomlin has a contract to 2020, while Pilkington – who counts 75 Premier League appearances to his name from his time at Norwich – is now in the last year of his and will likely leave on a free at the end of the campaign. Nobody’s really winning here.