The transfer window brought new starts for many players, but there are some big hitters who we won’t see much of over the next few months…
The World Cup winner was chosen by Jose Mourinho has his sacrificial lamb upon demonstrating his authority when taking over at Manchester United. Schweinsteiger was told he could go, but the 32-year-old chose to stay put, until January at least.
The former Bayern Munich star kept his counsel until last week, when he took to social media to graciously declare that United would be his last club in Europe. That may be why he reportedly turned down Sporting Lisbon in the final days of the window.
— Basti Schweinsteiger (@BSchweinsteiger) August 24, 2016
Schweinsteiger is on huge money at Old Trafford, and if the worst case scenario is that he trains on his own for a few months while having weekends off and seeing over £200,000 deposited into his bank account at the end of the week, then it’s not all bad.
Mourinho has made it very clear that a U-turn won’t be forthcoming. Hey ho. The midfielder is happy to wait for lucrative offers, perhaps from the USA or China, and in the meantime, he is smart enough to keep his nose clean and continue to charm his public on social media.
The situation is not quite as perilous for Fabregas, but the Spain midfielder is hardly flavour of the month either.
Antonio Conte reportedly does not see Fabregas as a starter in his new Blues side, with N’Golo Kante, Oscar and Nemanja Matic preferred in middle of the park for Chelsea’s opening three Premier League matches.
This has left the former Barcelona star sweating on the bench. Granted, the 29-year-old is only one injury or suspension away from being thrust back into the spotlight, but it seems it would only ever be a cameo role.
Contrary to what has been written, the manager and I have a good relationship and he has NEVER told me that I can leave. He said that he counts on me, as I count on him. I will continue to fight for this club until the very end and when called upon I will always give my very best. I’m fully committed to @chelseafc and my only goal is to help them win more trophies. #ChelseaFC
Fabregas has refused to rock the boat, and that may endear him to Conte should the new coach need to freshen up his midfield. But the former Arsenal hero is likely to have to become more accustomed to being a stand-in rather than a star performer.
Despite Jurgen Klopp’s best efforts, the defender successfully resisted the manager’s attempts to get rid and remains at Anfield, for the time being at least.
Sakho has done his best to burn his bridges. The centre-half, who many saw as a potential club captain, missed the end of last season and though he was eventually exonerated over a doping violation, the episode embarrassed the club and left Klopp short at a vital time of the campaign.
So you might think that Sakho would keep a low profile during pre-season and graft his way back into his manager’s good books. Nope, not big Mama.
The 26-year-old so annoyed Klopp on the club’s pre-season tour due to a bad attitude and poor timekeeping that the manager banished him from the squad like a naughty school boy and sent him home from USA to think about what he had done.
Despite being told to leave, on loan at least, Sakho dug in his heels and resisted offers form the likes of Stoke, Besiktas and West Brom. But the France international not only needs to win back the trust of his manager, he also has to jump the queue of Liverpool defenders, with Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip, Ragnar Klavan and even Lucas Leiva ahead in Klopp’s reckoning. Good luck with that.
Joe Hart took the hint from Pep Guardiola, though perhaps it was too subtle for Toure.
Like Hart, the midfielder clearly does not feature in his new manager’s thinking. Both did more than most to bring City their two Premier League titles, but times change and Guardiola appeared more than willing to sell Toure for a second time having also showed him the door at Barcelona.
While the goalkeeper was given a hero’s send-off, the City faithful did not appear too fussed to wave off Toure when he was given a run-out in the Champions League dead rubber against Steaua Bucharest. Despite being a colossus at times, steamrolling through opponents, Toure went missing for much of last season and the suspicion among many is that the 33-year-old and his agent would be more than happy to loiter at City for a season, trousering £225,000 a week, before enjoying another mega pay day as a free agent next summer.
In the meantime, Toure’s chances of playing appear strictly limited. Indeed, the Ivorian looks likely to miss the cut when Guardiola names his Champions League squad for the group stage.
New Toffees boss Ronald Koeman didn’t waste any time in assessing Niasse’s qualities – presuming they exist – and his verdict was as clear as it could be: “If he likes to play football then he needs to leave Everton.”
A return to Moscow appeared a possibility for the £13.5million January signing, but moves to his former club Lokamotiv or Spartak failed to materialise.
Instead, Niasee remains at Goodison Park, bereft of even a squad number, serving only to remind everyone at the club of the dark days of the back end of Roberto Martinez’s reign.