One problem that came from the Premier League Coronavirus break is that many player’s contracts, both loan and permanent, were set to run out on June 30th or July 1st, making them either free agents or forcing them to return to their parent club.
For these players, plus those in other leagues like Ligue 1, Serie A and the Bundesliga, it means that they never got to play a final game in front of their own fans. For some, who have extended their contract short-term, it even meant winning the title without being able to do it in front of the fans that have supported them for many years.
Millsy’s View has taken a look into these players and built a final XI, and it is a team that would win many a game, should they have ever been given a chance.
The Goalkeeper and Defence
We start off by looking at the back line, the goalkeeper and defence. There were many options that I could have put in these positions but I have settled on the following five to play:
This one was an easy choice for the goalkeeper, the only other options being either Karl Darlow, who hasn’t played for Newcastle for years, or several keepers who are over 35 and likely to retire soon. Joe Hart, however, seems to be a part of this saga every season, as the question is always asked: “Who’s next to take a chance on him?”
Although it seems like he has been around forever, Joe Hart is still only 33 and has bags of experience that could be useful for many clubs, either as a backup option like he has been utilised at Burnley, or as first-choice for a top Championship club or a lower-down Premier League club. Who will be next to take a chance on him?
Layvin Kurzawa took the “Mbappe Route” to his career, first coming through the ranks at Monaco before making the move to Pari-Saint Germain. Since then he has played a sort of bit-part role at the club, never having secured a permanent place in the squad, having had to compete with Juan Bernat in the last couple of years.
He is actually the first and, as of yet, only defender to have scored a Champions League hat-trick, and at 27 is just hitting his prime as a left back. With a man of his experience, he could be of use to many top teams. Some say, however that he has already made a decision.
Jan Vertonghen, during his time at Tottenham Hotspur, has often been a rock at the heart of their defence, having helped them to take a step up and become real top-4 contenders. In the last couple of years, however, with injuries and poor form to take into account, he has played a sort of diminished role compared to what he had previously.
At 33, his prime years are coming to an end, but he is an experience centre back who could still offer a lot to a team at Champions League level. He has signed a contract extension with Tottenham Hotspur to keep him there until the season finishes, and there is said to be movement on where his next move may take him
Thiago Silva has been the real rock at the centre of Paris Saint-Germain’s defence, ever since he joined the club in 2012. Although his partners have come and gone, he has stayed with the club throughout, making almost 40 appearances every season.
He has been first-choice on the team sheet throughout his time there, and rumour has it that he has extended his contract with the club, so that he may take part in the Champions League when it restarts. At 35 years of age, he may well take the chance to move back home to Brazil, although with all that experience, another team may want to take advantage of having such a tough defender in their ranks.
Nathaniel Clyne made his move in 2015 as part of the Southampton-Liverpool feeder club relationship. During his first two seasons with the club, he was absolutely the first choice right-back a the club. His time there, however was then blighted with injuries and the fact that Trent Alexander-Arnold came through as strongest choice in the position.
So much so, that he failed to make an appearance during the current 2019-20 season, and will be very unlikely to pick up a Premier League winners medal. Liverpool have confirmed that he will be released, and at 29, Clyne still has a couple of years left in football, should he be able to regain fitness, yet no club as of yet have offered an interest in his services.