The transfer window is now open for Premier League clubs and the summer gives players the chance of a fresh start.
Whether through form, fitness or favour, this group of players struggled to make an impact at their respective clubs last season and a change of scenery appears required to get their careers back on track.
Five Premier League players who need a fresh start this summer
Erik ten Hag ominously said that Harry Maguire had a decision to make on his future this summer, with the centre-back having struggled for minutes at Manchester United last season.
Maguire was dropped after the Red Devils opened the season with back-to-back defeats and has failed to regain favour since, ending the campaign with just eight Premier League starts.
The 30-year-old has effectively found himself as fifth choice, with Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez and Victor Lindelof ahead of him in Ten Hag’s thinking and Luke Shaw selected centrally ahead of the defender on occasion.
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag says Harry Maguire ‘has a decision to make’ over his future at the club 🔴 pic.twitter.com/ab5GAkQmZG
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) May 29, 2023
United are understood to be in the market for an additional centre-back this summer and that looks set to spell the end of Maguire’s time with the club, four seasons on from his £80m world-record move to the club from Leicester.
The defender has struggled for confidence across the past two seasons with his erratic performances fiercely scrutinised and a move away from the Old Trafford spotlight could benefit Maguire this summer.
Gareth Southgate has retained faith in the centre-back, but warned Maguire his place with England is under threat. Securing regular minutes and finding form should be the focus for Maguire ahead of next season’s European Championship.
Steven Gerrard’s presence at Aston Villa facilitated Philippe Coutinho’s move to the club, with the Brazilian reuniting with his former Liverpool team-mate at Villa Park.
After a bright start to his loan spell the move was made permanent, only for Gerrard to be sacked just three months into the new campaign. Coutinho had struggled for form before Gerrard’s departure and his fortunes failed to improve after Unai Emery’s arrival as his replacement.
The 31-year-old ended the Premier League campaign with just seven league starts and solitary goal scored, having found himself on the fringes of a resurgent team under the new head coach.
Coutinho has been linked with a return to Brazil and to the lucrative project in Saudi Arabia. His future is uncertain, but appears away from Aston Villa.
Rob Holding has spent seven seasons at Arsenal without ever being recognised as a regular and this summer is perhaps the time to move on in search of a prominent role.
The 27-year-old has started just 15 league games across the last two seasons, while a run of unconvincing performances in William Saliba’s absence last season increased doubts over his suitability to Mikel Arteta’s build-up from the back.
Arsenal have submitted an opening offer of £30m to sign Ajax defender Jurrien Timber, an arrival which will push Holding further down the pecking order.
With Gabriel and William Saliba already established at centre-back and both Ben White and Takehiro Tomiyasu capable centrally, Holding has little chance of a regular run in the team next season.
Nathaniel Phillips is another defender who has spent much of his career in the background, having made just 19 league appearances in four seasons at Liverpool.
The bulk of those games came during the 2020/21 campaign, when Phillips was brought into the team amid a defensive crisis and performed admirably during the club’s run to Champions League qualification.
Since then he has spent time on loan at Bournemouth, before featuring for just 66 minutes in the Premier League last season after a summer move failed to materialise.
Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez are all ahead of Phillips at Anfield, who at 26 might feel now is the time to join a club who can provide him with regular first-team football.
Liverpool’s lack of homegrown players may have been behind retaining Phillips to date, but the Reds are unlikely to stand in the defender’s way this summer if a suitable offer arrives. It is an exit which could prove beneficial for all parties.
Donny van de Beek
Donny van de Beek has become a forgotten figure at Manchester United.
His three seasons at the club have been nothing short of a disaster with the midfielder’s promising career having stalled badly since a £35m move from Ajax.
The 26-year-old has made just six league starts for the Red Devils and spent much of last season watching on from the sidelines before a knee injury curtailed his campaign in March.
There was optimism that Erik ten Hag’s arrival as manager could get the midfielder’s career back on track having worked with his compatriot at Ajax, but the arrival of Christian Eriksen and continued importance of Bruno Fernandes has meant opportunities were rare.
Van de Beek has fallen out of contention with the Netherlands after a disastrous time in the Premier League and could do with a change of scenery. Viewed as one of the most exciting talents outside of Europe’s top five leagues at the time of his arrival, he has since faded into obscurity at Old Trafford.