Football history is littered with the stories of players who made big-money moves to different clubs and then for whatever reason, simply fell off the radar or completely failed to live up to expectations.
The reasons for this can be varying – sometimes it’s injury-related, sometimes it’s simply a case of the player not being able to make the step up to the next level, and sometimes – more commonly now – it’s a case of a large, rich club looking to stockpile players to prevent other smaller clubs from keeping hold of them.
At any rate, here are five examples of players who switched teams, and then fell off the radar.
#1: Fabian Delph
Fabian Delph spent six seasons at Aston Villa, and his importance to the team grew with each one. Establishing himself as a starter in 2012/13, Delph finally blossomed in 2013/14 and became Villa’s key man, making 34 appearances that season and being voted Player of the Season by the fans.
By the end of 2014 Delph was not only a key player for Villa, but he’d also broken into Roy Hodgson’s England setup and his future seemed bright indeed. Despite his Villa contract ending at the end of the 2014/15 season, he pledged his future to the club by signing a new deal until 2019.
It didn’t take long for his head to be turned, though. After another outstanding season, he was linked with Manchester City, and despite coming out and telling Villa fans he was going nowhere, he was quickly on his bike to Manchester for a fee of £8m.
And since then? Practically nothing. In two seasons at City, Delph has made 24 appearances and has barely figured, particularly since the arrival of Pep Guardiola. And naturally his England career has gone down the tubes too.
It’s a classic case of a big club needlessly signing a player for the sake of it, and who knows if he’ll ever make it back to the forefront?