9 players who need to repair their stock in the 2018/19 Premier League season
With the new Premier League season already throwing unexpected results and unscripted exclamation points, we take a look at a few forgotten men who are looking to find their own little renaissance.
#9 Anthony Martial (Manchester United)
Martial started his first match of the season as at the AMEX Stadium. After inconspicuous 60 minutes, he was given the hook with United trailing 3-1, with and replaced by one Marouane Fellaini. There was no eye contact or handshake with the gaffer and he remained absent as Spurs demolished United at Old Trafford on Monday.
He arrived at Old Trafford in 2015 under Louis Van Gaal with the tag of the world-record fee for a teenager and became an overnight sensation when he Thierry Henry’d his way to a goal against Liverpool n his debut. Come to circa 2018 and the love affair has hit the rocks as they say. With the change of managers, Martial has not shown enough to win over the Portuguese, Jose Mourinho.
The indubitable statistics remain that in his 86 league appearances, he has only notched a paltry total of 24 goals and 15 assists. Given his playing time has fluctuated over the period but there have been players who have delivered a lot more with fewer opportunities. Especially concerning is his lack of response when called upon to bring a new dimension to the blunt attacking edge like the spell in late October 2017or even last week at Brighton. He can be a match winner and absolute elite-level superstar on his day. The problem is that his days are very few and unpredictably far in between
Missing out the French party at the World Cup in Russia, rumours started circulating that player's agent has sent out feelers for a new club. The player with only a year remaining on his contract the signs looked ominous. The pre-season absence and delayed return following the birth of his second child elicited a disciplinary proceeding and a subsequent fine from the Club. It looked for all intents and purposes that the Frenchman was begging for a move.
Tottenham looked like the most likely destination even though they are a direct rival to top 4 positions. There were rumours of possible overtures from the likes of Juventus, PSG and Bayern Munich but there did not seem to be an official interest. Manchester United’s stance was robust, seemingly uninterested in letting Martial leave this season. There are even rumours of a new 5-year extension on the current deal. Recently, Sevilla were touted to be chasing his signature on a loan agreement. However, he might have made an unexpected U-turn taking a year-long lease on a house 20 minutes from United’s Carrington training base.
#8 Ross Barkley (Chelsea)
Having had a full and fairly uneventful pre-season for the Blues, Barkley seems to have brought the good form into the new season for Chelsea. Starting the first two games, the midfielder has caught the eye. His energy, technical qualities and technique may flourish in Sarri’s new 4-3-3 formation.
Braking out at Everton as a precocious young talent, Ross Barkley was supposed to be the next Wayne Rooney. His goal against Newcastle in March 2014 made a lot of sceptics take notice to that possibility too. Running almost the entire span of the pitch at St James' Park, the midfielder slalom his way to the Newcastle goal. Flooring defenders in his wake he unleashed an execute into the top corner. The talent was already there and now it might be the time for him to translate that into consistent displays.
After joining for £15m in January, he has hardly featured for the blues. Failure to convince Conte, in part due to his miserable injury record, he made only four appearances last season. But now, he is looking lean and ready. If (it is a big if) he can stay clear of injuries, he can make a strong case for a regular starting place alongside the likes of £50 million arrivals of and N’Golo Kante.
Another motivation for Barkley would be an England recall. He has been part of the Gareth Southgate team yet. He last played for the three Lions two years ago when Roy Hodgson was still at the helm. His 22 England games at the age of 24 can easily burgeon under Southgate who is not afraid to give youth a chance