After two weeks of Premier League action, it is beginning to seem clear who is in favour at their club, and who is the outcast.
A number of surprising names have been left out of starting squads and even the bench, suggesting their time at their club may be coming to an end.
It might just be a temporary blip for some, but for others, they have been missing for months.
There is just a couple of weeks left of the transfer window for teams to do business, and it’s now or never for some of these players who face possible lengthy spells watching from the sidelines.
Here’s a look of the Premier League’s Big Six outcasts…
*Arsenal – Mesut Ozil, Matteo Guendouzi*
Who knows what’s going on with Ozil? Mikel Arteta has admitted that the German playmaker isn’t close to a comeback, despite being the club’s highest-paid player.
Meanwhile, Arsenal are still trying to offload rebel Guendouzi, but are facing the prospect of keeping the Frenchman with club’s not keen on the Frenchman, despite his youth.
*Chelsea – Antonio Rudiger*
German defender Rudiger is being linked with clubs from Barcelona to West Ham after being frozen out by Frank Lampard.
The arrival of Thiago Silva has pushed Rudiger even further down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge, and his time in the capital appears to be almost up.
*Liverpool – Xherdan Shaqiri*
Shaqiri is in something of a limbo with Liverpool after making a delayed start to pre-season training.
Reports have suggested that the Reds are opening to selling the Swiss winger and he is yet to make a matchday squad this season, but they appear to be in no rush to push him out of the door either.
*Man City – Nicolas Otamendi*
Argentine defender Otamendi’s only use for City now appears to be as part of a makeweight to keep potential signings as cheap as possible.
According to Mundo Deportivo, the Sky Blues are considering including him in a deal for Sevilla’s Jules Kounde.
*Man Utd – Jesse Lingard*
Lingard seems to have been on the fringes at United forever, but with his contract expiring next summer, it’s now or never for the attacking-midfielder.
Tottenham have been rumoured with interest in the 27-year-old, but United are also considering triggering the one-year extension option on his current deal.
Lingard was left out of the squad to face Crystal Palace last weekend but returned in the League Cup.
However, with Premier League chances looking few and far between, perhaps Lingard’s time at Old Trafford will soon be up.
*Tottenham – Dele Alli*
This is a saga no-one would have predicted a few weeks ago – but has Jose Mourinho had enough of Alli at Spurs?
After hooking the midfielder at half-time in their opening day defeat to Everton, Alli is yet to feature again, sparking rumours of a move to PSG.
In the last 24 hours Mourinho has played down talk of a departure, and the 24-year-old is expected to be given the chance to fight for his place again.
He’s expected to play in the Europa League on Thursday night.
But if he doesn’t, then it certainly doesn’t bode well for his future under Mourinho.
Thomas Partey is ‘exactly’ what the Gunners need to take them to the next level – says Avram Grant
Thomas Partey will prove to be the ‘perfect’ signing at Arsenal, according to former Ghana boss Avram Grant.
Grant worked with the midfielder during his stint in charge of the Black Stars from 2014-2017 and believes the £45million deadline day acquisition is a shrewd one from the Gunners.
He told the Sun: ‘I’d ask the Arsenal fans to give him a few weeks just to get used to English football, because it is still played differently in the Premier League to anywhere else, even if there are more foreign players now.
‘But he will prove a good signing, perfect for what Mikel Arteta is trying to do. When you need him to hold the ball up, he can do that and he is a great fit for what Arteta is trying to make his team.
Ex-Chelsea boss Grant, added: ‘He is a central midfielder, who will win the ball and play the right pass forward and can see the pitch, tactically disciplined as well and committed to his team.
‘And he will make a big difference to Arsenal, just like he did at Atletico. He is a really good signing, just what they needed.’
Atletico Madrid signed Partey, 27, when he was just 18 back in 2011 and he went on to become a key player in Diego Simeone’s side after successful loan spells.
And his consistency at the heart of midfield will be a godsend to Arteta, who was desperate to strengthen that area of the pitch for Arsenal.
‘Thomas doesn’t tend to have good days and bad days because you know every match what you will get from him, which is his best for the team,’ Grant said.
The Gunners have dangerous options in attack and have developed a steeliness to their defence under Arteta but midfield is the area with question marks.
Partey is a statement signing for the north London side after they triggered his release clause on transfer deadline day and will be a huge boost in the club’s pursuit of a top four place this season.
Grant’s assessment will be music to the ears of Arsenal fans wondering how Partey will settle into the side. He could be handed his debut against Manchester City after the international break on October 17.
FIFA’s ban on Kwesi Nyantakyi reduced to 12 years
The Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) has reportedly reduced the lifetime ban on former Ghana Football Association President Kwesi Nyantakyi.
According to Ghana-Kumasi-based Nhyira FM, CAS has reduced the lifetime ban imposed on Kwesi Nyantakyi to a period of twelve years.
Kwesi Nyantakyi was banned from involving in football related activities for the rest of his life after captured in the Anas Aremeyaw Anas number 12 video expose engaging in unapproved dealings which was against FIFA code of ethics.
He was stripped off his position as member of the FIFA Executive Council and CAF first vice president as well as his position as the President of the Ghana Football Association.
But Ghana-Kumasi Base Radio StationNhyira FM is reporting that the ban has been reduced to twelve years after Kwesi Nyantakyi appealed the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS)..
GFA appoints Professor Joseph Mintah as Director of Coaching Education
The Ghana Football Association (GFA) has appointed Professor Joseph Mintah as the new Director of Coaching Education.
A statement from the Ghana FA reads, ” The Ghana Football Association (GFA) is delighted to announce that Prof. Joseph Kwame Mintah has been appointed as the Association’s Director of Coaching Education for a period of two years”
“Prof. Joseph Mintah who was recently attached to the National Teams Department as a psychologist comes to the new role with depth of experience in Coaching and Physical education”
“He holds a Doctorate degree in Education (Sport Psychology) and a Master of Arts Degree in Physical Education from the University of Northern Iowa, USA”
“The former Black Stars Team Psychologist holds an Elite CAF Instructors “A” License Certificate from the Confederation of African Football (CAF)”
“He served as an Interim Assistant Coach of the Ghana Black Stars during the 2014 CAF Qualifiers and was Head Coach of Ghana Premier League side, Cape Coast Mysterious Dwarfs from 2010 to 2014”
“In addition to his on field coaching experience, Prof. Mintah is currently the Dean of Faculty of Science and Technology Education, College of Education Studies, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast Ghana.
“He played for the University of Cape Coast men soccer team between 1986-1990 after previous stints with Mysterious Dwarfs FC, Venomous Vipers FC, Diamond Stars FC and Hafiz Stars FC”
“Prof. Mintah will be a vital member of the GFA Technical Directorate working with the Technical Director to shape the technical direction of the Association.
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