Footballers make mistakes from time to time, and these mistakes can cost them a lot of money. At times, players find themselves out of favor at their preferred clubs, forcing them to make decisions that could help them resurrect their careers.
Managerial changes do not always have the best impact on the players of a club. A new manager may decide to put in place a new system. As a result, a number of players may become surplus to requirements, leaving them out in the cold.
Another factor to consider is when a player suffers a severe injury or a series of injuries that keep them out of the game for an extended period of time. Once an injury-prone player has been identified, it is quite common for clubs to decide to move on to a different player.
On that note, let’s take a look at this list of five players who need to move during the January transfer window due to a lack of regular and consistent playing time.
Number 5: Raheem Sterling
Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling has stated openly that he intends to leave the club if his situation does not improve soon. Since the arrival of Pep Guardiola at the Etihad in 2016, the Englishman has been a mainstay in the Spanish tactician’s set-up.
I’m not sure how long Pep will be willing to try to play him back into shape.
So far in the 2021-22 season, Sterling has played only 700 minutes in 15 appearances across all competitions, scoring two goals. During Guardiola’s time at Manchester City, the 26-year-old has been a valuable asset. Over the last six seasons, he has had 105 goals in 260 appearances.
Due to his limited involvement with the squad this season, the Englishman has considered a future away from the Etihad Stadium. Guardiola has preferred Spanish youngster Ferran Torres and £100 million in summer acquisition Jack Grealish in attack when they have been fitted.
Being a regular is essential for a player like Sterling, who is at the pinnacle of his abilities. If such assurances are not provided by Manchester City, a move at the earliest possible opportunity may be required.
Number 4: Dani Ceballos
Dani Ceballos has been a Real Madrid schemer since 2017 when he was signed as a highly-rated youngster by Zinedine Zidane. Then, at the age of 21, he was signed from Real Betis, where he had made an excellent impression.
After failing to impress at Real Madrid, he was loaned to Arsenal from 2019 to 2018.
The 25-year-old returned to Real Madrid to compete with Toni Kroos, Casemiro, Federico Valverde, and Luka Modric. The midfielder has yet to appear for Real this season after the club signed French teenager Eduardo Camavinga.
After playing regular football for two seasons, the midfielder has returned to not playing. At 25, he needs to move as soon as possible if he wants to play regularly again.
Number 3: Samuel Umtiti
Samuel Umtiti has been in and out of the Barcelona starting lineup over the last two years.
After an impressive loan spell at Ligue 1 giants Lyon, Umtiti quickly established himself as a lynchpin in Blaugrana’s backline. He quickly established himself as the club’s defensive anchor, alongside Gerard Pique.
Umtiti has received new offers to depart in January. He will meet with Barça in November, which could be a watershed moment in his career.
Umtiti, who is 27 years old, is nearing the point in his career where he requires more playing time. The Frenchman was linked with a move away from Camp Nou during the summer, but it fell through due to his high wages. Umtiti must leave Camp Nou as soon as possible if he is to resurrect his career.
Number 2: Donny van de Beek
Donny van de Beek, a Manchester United midfielder, has been a spectator for the majority of his time at Old Trafford, with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer preferring others to him.
The Dutchman was a 2019 Ballon d’Or nominee but has only played four times for Manchester United. Van de Beek lost his spot on the Dutch national squad and knows he must play well for the 2022 World Cup.
He’s been linked to Newcastle and Tottenham in recent months. Van van Beek needs a new club to rediscover his form before the World Cup.
Number 1: Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard, who felt indestructible in London, seems different now. The Belgian playmaker’s fantasy move to Real Madrid has turned into a nightmare.
Hazard was used to receiving kicks and immediately getting up for Chelsea, but at Real Madrid, he is frequently injured.
Belgium’s captain, now 30, has only scored seven goals for club and country in the last two years. His Real Madrid career never took off due to a string of minor injuries. The Belgium great is behind Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo, and Marco Asensio in the pecking order.
Hazard has been linked with a sensational return to Stamford Bridge, but it is unclear whether Chelsea is interested. Regardless of where he ends up, he needs to move somewhere where he can play regular football.