Soccer

40 Soccer Stars Who Faded Away

Darren - September 30, 2019
Soccer

40 Soccer Stars Who Faded Away

Darren - September 30, 2019
Mandatory Credit: Bild

7. Ashley Cole

Cole might just be the most underrated English soccer player ever. The former Arsenal and Chelsea left-back had a distinguished Premier League. When he was in his prime you could argue that he was the best left-back in the world. His attitude just turned the media off of him.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

After cementing his legacy as a Chelsea legend, Cole decided to make the move to Roma in 2014. However, it definitely didn’t work out as he hoped. First of all, there was that infamous team photo where the Englishman is standing a foot away from the rest of the squad. Finally, it didn’t get much better on the pitch, as he only played 14 times. Basically, he was way past his prime.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

6. Thomas Vermaelen

Belgian defender Vermaelen had a couple of magnificent seasons for Arsenal. He moved to Barcelona in 2014 and many thought that the Catalans had secured a coup. On paper, he looked a perfect fit for the La Liga giants. Possessing great passing and defensive skills, it had all the makings of a brilliant transfer.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

There’s no doubting Vermaelan’s class, but sadly it hasn’t worked out for him. First of all, his injury record is diabolical. As a result, he was never able to assert himself in the team. Injuries affected the tempo of Vermaelan’s play and he tended to be more error-prone than in his Arsenal days. He tended to be error-prone when he did play. It was sad to see because he was so talented but he faded away.

Mandatory Credit: Match of the Day

5. Alexander Hleb

The only Belarus player you’ve ever heard of, Hleb was excellent for Arsenal. He was highly effective under Arsene Wenger and even attracted the attention of Barcelona. The Catalan side swooped for the playmaker in a highly random transfer that not many people saw coming.

Mandatory Credit: Marca

However, it definitely didn’t really work out for Hleb. Sure, he was part of a superb squad and definitely earned a lot of money, but he didn’t make much of an impression at the Nou Camp. He was never more than a squad player and would eventually move back to the Premier League with Birmingham. To sum up, this was definitely a strange one as he faded away.

Mandatory Credit: GOAL

4. Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Mkhitaryan is one-half of one of the worst transfer deals in Premier League history. He moved to Arsenal from Manchester United, with Alexis Sanchez going the other way. In short, both teams thought that they were getting the better deal. Neither of them has worked out at all.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Mkhitaryan was superb in the Bundesliga for Borussia Dortmund. Above all, the Armenian showed a great eye for goal and was brilliant at linking play. However, he’s just a bit too light for the Premier League and was unable to assert himself in games for Arsenal. Just what they needed: another lightweight attacking midfielder.

Mandatory Credit: Eurosport

3. Mesut Ozil

One of the most confusing players of all time, we still don’t know exactly how good Ozil is. He was highly effective for Real Madrid, so much so that Ronaldo was furious when he left. His reputation in La Liga meant that expectations were high when he came to Arsenal.

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Hence, it’s fair to say that he did not live up to expectations. On his day, Ozil is beautiful to watch. Excellent on the ball, and capable of splitting the lines, he’s got that visionary ability. However, his days are few and far between. It probably doesn’t help that he played for a team in permanent transition, but there’s a good reason why so many fans think he’s a flop. Now he’s in Turkey after his Premier League hopes faded away.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

2. Roberto Soldado

Tottenham Hotspurs thought that they had secured a coup when they signed Soldado from Valencia. The Spanish international had torn up La Liga. In short, they thought that he was going to be the man to bring them to the next level. Too bad that that didn’t turn out to be the case.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

This is one of those inexplicable situations where a player suddenly goes from being incredible to looking like a donkey. As a result, Soldado suddenly lost confidence and his goal-scoring touch during a horrible couple of seasons in London. Eventually, he’d move on to Villareal. Injuries would further decimate his career and he just faded away.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

1. Alexis Sanchez

There was a time when Sanchez was one of the most exciting attackers on the planet. The Chilean international lit up the Premier League during his early days with Arsenal. He would score 30 goals in his best season in the club and would win the Copa America with his country. That seems a long time ago now.

Mandatory Credit: Goal

After losing inspiration with Arsenal, he decided to push for a move to their rivals Manchester United. It was a terrible decision. Although he made a fortune in wages, Sanchez was an absolute flop. In short, he became alienated from the team and fell way down the pecking order. He was moved to Inter Milan.

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