TT’s Top Five: More names left to rot after transfer window closes

Mark Scott

Ulloa, Jones and Crouch: Immediate prospects look bleak

As the dust continues to settle from deadline day, TEAMtalk takes a closer look at those players who are in for a particularly cold spell.

Following the first list of big-hitting outcasts we brought you, here are five more stars possibly already looking towards January…

Phil Jones

Phil Jones was being compared to Busby Babe Duncan Edwards shortly after arriving from Blackburn Rovers for £16.5million five years ago. Now he is nothing more than a mere spectator like the rest of us as Jose Mourinho well and truly puts his stamp on the Manchester United squad.

Phil Jones2

Jones made 29 Premier League starts in his first season under Sir Alex Ferguson and has not been able to top that figure ever since. Last season he featured just 13 times in all competitions, with injuries doing him no favours when trying to re-establish himself into the first-team picture.

Following the four statement signings made by Mourinho in his first transfer window as United boss, the focus soon turned to who would be given the axe by one of the most ruthless managers in the game. Jones, somehow, survived.

Eric Bailly has made his transition from La Liga to the Premier League seem effortless so far and his first-choice defensive partner Daley Blind continues to get more comfortable in the role he has been asked re-adjust to. Chris Smalling is back pushing for a starting spot, too, leaving Jones as an afterthought.

He has yet to even feature on the bench so far this season for Manchester United and at 24 years of age he can ill-afford yet another year of stagnation.

A summer transfer seemed to make sense for all parties after the likes of Stoke confirmed their interest in signing him, yet Jones is seemingly going to have to make do with getting very comfortable in the stands until January at the earliest.

Diafra Sakho

There was once a time when the Senegalese striker was fast becoming one of the most-feared front men in the Premier League. He scored in six consecutive games for the Hammers at the start of the 2014/15 season before going on to reach double figures by the end of the campaign.

Diafra Sakho: Struggling for match fitness

However, his West Ham career slowly deteriorated and his relationship with the club turned particularly sour in July after he handed in transfer request when Sunderland’s £11million bid being rejected and refused to travel to their pre-season training camp in Austria.

The Hammers granted Sakho his wish soon after as they accepted a £15million bid from West Brom – a move that would have no doubt seen Saido Berahino finally allowed to leave the Hawthorns – but a failed medical left the 26-year-old in limbo and facing what will feel like a very long few months before the transfer window opens again.

The injuries were mounting up for Slaven Bilic at the very start of the season, especially in attacking areas, but Sakho would have and will never be the answer to any of the Croatian’s problems – regardless of the eventual arrival of Simone Zaza from Juventus.

If Sakho is still determined to leave West Ham, he will have to spend the next few months working on his fitness before a club who are struggling for goals near the foot of the Premier League table inevitably takes a chance on him.

Peter Crouch

Peter Crouch only managed to start four Premier League games for the Potters last season, with the first not coming until February.

But a recent hat-trick in the League Cup against Stevenage saw manager Mark Hughes admit that Crouch had given him plenty to think about.

A rare start followed against Everton and even though he was unable to get on the scoresheet at Goodison Park, the former England international performed admirably when there was probably a bit of rust left on his giant frame.

Irrespective of what will more than likely be a brief resurgence for the 35-year-old, many expected him to move on transfer deadline day including the bookies who were trying to drum up interest in who his next club would be.

Crouch himself was well aware of the speculation surrounding his future and needs very little excuse to engage in some #banter, taking to Twitter to nip any rumours in the bud and say he would carry on his career with Stoke.

Crouch probably did have a fair few offers on the table to consider this summer and if they are still there in January then he may just have to consider them a little more seriously when the first-team appearances begin to dry up again.

Leonardo Ulloa

Another striker who is going to find it very difficult for game time is Leonardo Ulloa, who carved out a bit of a knack of scoring very late goals for the Foxes in last season’s title-winning campaign.

Leonardo Ulloa: Striker could leave Leicester

The 30-year-old was already falling down the pecking order when Nigerian Ahmed Musa arrived earlier in window, so when Leicester broke their transfer record yet again on transfer deadline day for Islam Slimani it really did spell the beginning of the end for the ex-Brighton forward.

If it wasn’t for Leicester’s incredible achievement last season then Ulloa would still be quite a big part of the Foxes plans, but times have quickly moved on at the King Power Stadium and, through no fault of his own, the Argentinian has been left behind.

Tom Carroll

Tom Carroll is becoming so forgettable that even Tottenham fans are not completely aware of him any more. When the retained and released lists were announced earlier in the summer, many were surprised to see Carroll in the former category after thinking his five-year contract had finally expired. It seems only a few knew that he had actually signed an two-year extension 12 months ago.

Tom Carroll

Described on the Tottenham website as a ‘skillful, young midfielder’, even his own club perhaps need to refresh themselves. At 24, Carroll can no longer be labelled as ‘young’ when you take into account how short a career in playing football is. If he is to create any lasting memories then surely it will not be in Mauricio Pochettino’s squad.

New signings Victor Wanyama and Moussa Sissoko have all-but crushed any hopes of first-team football for Carroll, whose possible saving grace is that he counts as a home-grown player and, with just 20 players officially registered, Tottenham have one of the smaller squads in the division.

If another transfer window passes with him still on Tottenham’s books, it will become an even bigger surprise to see Carroll’s name on the retained list for next season.


Mark Scott