It's not too rare for players to outgrow the clubs they play for. Footballers, especially youngsters, can raise their game quite quickly and find themselves getting bogged down by the standards around them.
There are plenty of recent examples of this like Jack Grealish at Aston Villa, Federico Chiesa, and Dusan Vlahovic at Fiorentina. When players outperform their teammates on a regular basis and turn up on a consistent basis, they show up on the radar of top clubs.
Eventually, they might get their preferred move away to a bigger club with greater aspirations. Without further ado, let's take a look at five players who are too good for their current clubs.
#5 James Maddison (Leicester City)
James Maddison has long been linked with some of England's biggest clubs. But the 26-year-old continues to stick around at Leicester City, who are navigating an extremely disappointing Premier League campaign.
Maddison is one of the best-attacking midfielders in the English top flight. He has flair and is a very creative presence in the final third. Maddison is good at progressing the ball and also excels at set pieces.
He has scored seven goals and provided four assists in 14 Premier League appearances so far this term. The Foxes are 14th in the Premier League right now, just a point clear of the relegation zone.
Madders, as he is lovingly called, should seek a move away from Leicester City this summer. He is unlikely to have a shortage of potential suitors.
#4 Marcus Thuram (Borussia Monchengladbach)
Téléfoot journalist Saber Desfarges claims that Marcus Thuram is seeking an exit from Borussia Monchengladbach before the end of January. The French forward's current contract expires next summer and he is unlikely to be at the Bundesliga outfit beyond the end of the season.
Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, and Chelsea have all been credited with an interest in the in-form forward. He has scored 13 goals and has provided four assists in 17 appearances across all competitions for Borussia Monchengladbach so far this season.
Despite his contributions, the Bundesliga side are languishing at eighth in the league table. Thuram is clearly too good for the club he plays for.
#3 Ivan Toney (Brentford)
Don't get us wrong. Brentford is doing pretty well in their sophomore season back in the Premier League. But Ivan Toney looks destined to be playing for one of the top clubs in England or elsewhere in Europe.
Toney is a well-rounded center-forward who is neat with his link-up play and precise with his finishing. He is also quite adept at popping up at the right place at the right time, as evidenced by his impressive goalscoring output.
Toney has scored 14 goals and provided four assists in 20 appearances in all competitions for Brentford so far this term. Those numbers ought to earn him a move to a big club next summer.
#2 Declan Rice (West Ham United)
With just one win in their last eight Premier League games, West Ham United has dropped to 16th in the table. It's quite a dispiriting low to hit for David Moyes' once-promising project and Declan Rice would be justified in feeling held back by the Hammers right now.
Rice is one of the finest defensive midfielders in the English top flight. The 24-year-old has a bright future ahead of him and he is, by far, West Ham's most prized asset. However, he will need to move on from the London outfit if he dreams of winning trophies in his domestic career.
There are plenty of top clubs that are interested in securing his services. However, West Ham has thus far been happy to prize them out of a move for Rice.
#1 Enzo Fernandez (Benfica)
Enzo Fernandez was one of the breakout stars of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The combative and efficient midfielder's performances in midfield went a long way toward making Argentina an indomitable unit in Qatar.
The 22-year-old currently plays for Portuguese giants Benfica. But it's clear that it won't be too long before he joins a big club in one of Europe's top five leagues. He has a £106m release clause and Benfica aren't keen to let go of him.
Benfica are currently leading the Premeira Liga table and has made it to the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League as well. So Fernandez is not in the wrong hands by any means. But he definitely deserves to play for one of Europe's giant clubs.
In 28 appearances in all competitions for Benfica so far this season, the central midfielder has scored four goals and provided seven assists.