All must be a) English and b) not in Gareth Southgate’s latest England squad…
10) Carl Jenkinson
Carl Jenkinson has been an Arsenal player for six years. Just let that sink in for a minute. Or six years. Take however long you need. Carl Jenkinson has been an Arsenal player for six years and he has now played 38 Premier League games for the club. And he has not been seen at all since November, when he was utterly rotten in a 2-0 defeat to Southampton in the League Cup.
“When you do leave a club like Arsenal, everything needs to be right. It needs to be the right manager and financially – don’t get me wrong, I don’t want silly money – it needs to be right for me,” said the right-back after turning down Crystal Palace in January.
Reminder: Carl Jenkinson has one full England cap.
9) Calum Chambers
There was a reminder from Tony Adams this week about the fee Arsenal paid for Calum Chambers when he revealed that the Gunners had rejected the chance to sign Eric Dier. “They did get Calum Chambers for £17 million – no disrespect to Calum,” said Adams with absolutely no respect for the 22-year-old who spent last season on loan at Middlesbrough.
There are already rumours of another season-long loan move to either Newcastle or Huddersfield Town, as quite frankly, Arsenal have bought another young Englishman for peanuts who looks rather bloody good.
Rob Holding is what we thought Calum Chambers would be
— нoсике (@NNwigene) May 28, 2017
Reminder: Calum Chambers has three full England caps.
8) Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Astonishingly, Ruben Loftus-Cheek is three months older than Dele Alli, but while Alli has played 184 club games for MK Dons and Tottenham, Loftus-Cheek has appeared 32 times for Chelsea. Last season, he played just 31 Premier League minutes. What a waste.
Loftus-Cheek with proper chances would’ve surpassed Dele Alli ages ago
— VB (@Bluesesque) June 2, 2017
The boy desperately needs a loan move next season, with Bournemouth and West Ham among the clubs being linked. “We have to take the best decision for him next season. He is a young player from our academy with a good prospect of becoming a Chelsea player,” said Antonio Conte last month. If you love someone, set them free (for a season), Antonio.
7) Jordan Pickford
Joe Hart also desperately needs a move this summer, but he is – for the moment at least – in Gareth Southgate’s plans. Whether Jordan Pickford will edge out Premier League goalkeepers if he is playing in the Championship is rather another matter. He will surely move this summer, but where? Arsenal are the favourites but should the best young goalkeeper in England settle for being a cup goalkeeper? Could Arsene Wenger make a difficult decision about Petr Cech? Could Arsene Wenger make a difficult decision at all?
“I feel like I am proven in the Premier League,” said Pickford this week, acknowledging for the first time that he will look to leave his beloved Sunderland this summer. At this juncture we usually recommend a move to Everton.
6) Kieran Gibbs
It is surely time. Kieran Gibbs is now 27 years old and he has started just 11 Premier League games over the last two seasons. Arsene Wenger is famously reluctant to lose his favourite players but the kindest thing would be to sell Gibbs (now third-choice left-back after the signing of Sead Kolasinac) to a middling Premier League club and let him remember how it feels to actually play football again.
Watford, Newcastle, Stoke and Brighton have all reportedly expressed an interest in signing Gibbs, but for some reason believe that £15m for a third-choice left-back with just a year left on his contract is a little bit steep. Don’t think we can’t see through your plan, Arsene…
5) Fabian Delph
It’s not the £12m price tag that is putting clubs like Stoke and West Brom off Fabian Delph but the £90,000-a-week wages he was given when he signed for Manchester City two years ago in a deal that always looked like a long-term mistake. Just 24 Premier League appearances later and Delph is very much available for transfer, with the signing of Bernardo Silva putting the final nail in a coffin already being lowered into the ground.
It’s little over a year since Delph was named in Roy Hodgson’s preliminary squad for Euro 2016 but the predictability of him then dropping out of the squad through injury sums up Delph’s recent career. He needs a move, even if he is still in denial, saying in February: “I love it here. I’m working with the best players in the world, great management, great staff around me and I’m very, very happy here.” Somebody had better break it to him gently…
4) Ross Barkley
‘The suspicion lingers that Koeman is ambivalent about Barkley,’ is the phrase used in the Daily Telegraph and ‘ambivalent’ is exactly the right word to use when discussing the English midfielder. He seems ambivalent about the club, the club seem ambivalent about him, the fans are ambivalent about keeping him and Gareth Southgate does seem rather ambivalent about seeing him in an England shirt. The only people not ambivalent about Barkley are the journalists who seem to be convinced he is the new Gazza or Wazza, depending on which position he is currently occupying.
Unlike most of the players on this list, Barkley played plenty of football last season (only Romelu Lukaku and Ashley Williams played more minutes for Everton in the Premier League), but – even at 23 – it feels like things have gone a little stale at Goodison Park. But who wants him?
Honestly if Ross Barkley is our “marquee” signing I’d rather us not sign anyone. Put the money into the stadium and promote a youth player.
— ジョージ (@CoysJoji) June 5, 2017
3) Luke Shaw
He splits opinion like almost no other Manchester United player. Some think that a fully fit Luke Shaw is the best left-back in the Premier League; others think he has been a waste of money, energy and belief. The truth probably lies somewhere in between but views are now so entrenched that Shaw would have to be the second coming of Paolo Maldini to win around his detractors.
— Pogbaholic (@SallyTheManc) May 30, 2017
Unfortunately for him, his detractors include manager Jose Mourinho, who used six left-backs in the Premier League last season and did not seem convinced by any, least of all Shaw. “I cannot compare the way he trains, the way he commits, the focus, the ambition. I cannot compare. He is a long way behind,” said Mourinho in April. It’s little wonder that Shaw is reportedly desperate to join Tottenham and work under a manager who might put an arm around his shoulder rather than his neck.
2) Jack Wilshere
This makes me sad. We have long been in Jack Wilshere’s corner – and still do believe that he had the potential to be the finest English midfielder of his generation – but this feels like the time to admit that he needs a clean break from Arsenal. The loan spell to Bournemouth was a fine idea but it was ultimately flawed; after proving he can stay fit, he now needs to prove he can stay relevant with a permanent step downwards. To Everton, preferably.
Now entering the final year of his contract, Wilshere has become just another means to make Tony Adams look silly. Though the sadness of the punchline is that there was a time when Wilshere really did look like the only English player who could have conceivably played alongside Ozil at Real Madrid or Alexis Sanchez at Barcelona.
“It was an insult to buy Mesut Özil when we’ve got Jack Wilshere there, who is every bit as good.”
– Tony Adams. pic.twitter.com/kk0tvb53Gv
— Football__Tweet (@Football__Tweet) June 7, 2017
1) Daniel Sturridge
Contrary to everything you may currently be thinking about fitness being Daniel Sturridge’s biggest hurdle, he was actually available for more than 70% of Liverpool’s Premier League games last season and still only started seven times; Sturridge simply does not fit into Jurgen Klopp’s preferred style of play and he really is too good to be a Plan B. As Klopp himself said last month: “He’s an instinctive footballer and a fantastic striker.”
“A player of his quality, you either play or you go. If I was him, I wouldn’t want to be on the bench,” says Jamie Carragher and, as usual, Jamie Carragher is right. Sturridge must leave and must play; a switch to Newcastle would be bloody good fun for everybody.