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Left in Limbo: Five out-of-favour Premier League players who failed to secure transfers this summer

Business is closed for Premier League clubs after the closure of the summer transfer window, a situation which leaves several stars facing the prospect of a season on the sidelines.

Out of favour at club level and without suitable interest from other clubs, a number of high-profile names could be set to spend much of the coming campaign on the bench.

Five out-of-favour Premier League players who failed to secure transfers during the summer window.

Harry Maguire

Harry Maguire has remained at Manchester United, despite a wealth of indications that the defender does not feature in Erik ten Hag’s plans. Ten Hag has, publicly at least, praised Maguire, but his removal as club captain and a return of just eight Premier League starts last season is a clear sign of his current standing at Old Trafford.

The 30-year-old has struggled for form and confidence across the last seasons and now faces another campaign as a back-up option. West Ham agreed a deal to sign Maguire during the summer, but the move collapsed and the Hammers moved on to alternative targets.

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Gareth Southgate has included Maguire in his England squad for September’s international break, an announcement that came before the centre-back had played a single minute in the Premier League this season. Southgate has remained loyal to a defender who has performed well for the Three Lions in recent major tournaments, but admitted Maguire’s spell on the sidelines can not continue if he is to retain a regular role with the national side.

With Levi Colwill and Marc Guehi among the names pushing for a place with England and a European Championship fast approaching next summer, Maguire may need to reassess his future in the winter window if his minutes do not increase.

Eric Dier

Eric Dier is understood to have been informed that he is free to leave Tottenham, but a move failed to materialise before the deadline despite interest from other clubs.

Fulham and Bournemouth were said to have discussed the 29-year-old as part of potential swap-deals involving Tosin Adarabioyo and Lloyd Kelly respectively, while Bayern Munich were linked with a shock move.

Dier has been with Spurs since signing from Sporting Lisbon in 2014 and is now into his ninth season with the north Londoners, but he has fallen down the pecking order since the arrival of Ange Postecoglou as manager and has not featured for the club so far this season.

The 49-cap England international is into the final season of his deal with Spurs and will be free to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs in January.

Donny van de Beek

Donny van de Beek’s absence from the Manchester United squad has become so regular that it is now a non-story. The midfielder arrived as one of Europe’s most coveted central midfielders three years ago, but has since seen his career stagnate at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils have paid around £5.8m per Premier League start Van de Beek has made since his arrival from Ajax, with the Dutchman failing to make an impact and now a peripheral member of the squad. The appointment of former Ajax manager Erik ten Hag failed to turn around his career with the club and the 26-year-old has not featured in a matchday squad this season.

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Galatasaray and Lorient were interested in loan deals for Van de Beek during the summer, the list of interested clubs – with all due respect – demonstrating just how far his stock has fallen since shining in Ten Hag’s Ajax team that reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2018/19.

Three different managers have now decided Van de Beek is not up to the level required at Manchester United. A move is badly needed if he is to revive his stuttering career.

Marc Cucurella

Chelsea have spent more than £1billion since last summer’s transfer window, a chaotic splurge on talent that has seen records broken and mass change at Stamford Bridge.

Marc Cucurella arrived during the first transfer window of the Todd Boehly regime, signed for a fee of £63m after an impressive debut season at Brighton. The Spaniard struggled after swapping the south coast for west London however, and has found himself out of favour under new manager Mauricio Pochettino.

With Ben Chilwell established as a key figure and Levi Colwill integrated as a left-sided centre-back, there appears no obvious role for Cucurella at Chelsea. Manchester United held talks with the Blues over a potential loan deal in the closing stages of the window, but instead turned to Tottenham’s Sergio Reguilon at left-back.

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Cucurella is one of many names at Chelsea on a long contract and high wages, an example of the risk of Boehly’s amortisation strategy when signings do not work out. On the level of his performances at Chelsea so far, the Blues will struggle to offload Cucurella without a massive hit on their initial outlay.

Nicolas Pepe

Nicolas Pepe is another big-money recruit who has failed to convince in the Premier League, with the Ivorian having been Arsenal’s record signing before the capture of Declan Rice this summer.

Pepe signed for Arsenal in a £72m deal from Lille in 2019, but spent last season out on loan at Nice after falling out of favour.

Pepe’s hit and miss form, coupled with the emergence of Bukayo Saka, has made him surplus to requirements in north London, but no transfer came to fruition in the summer window.

A potential move to the Saudi Pro League or Turkey remain possible with both transfer windows still open and reported interest from clubs in those nations, with the prospect of Pepe regaining favour with Mikel Arteta small despite the lack of an out-and-out alternative to Saka on the right-wing.

Read – Premier League Team of the Week – Matchday Four

Read Also – Premier League weekend: Five things we learned

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