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Five Premier League regulars who have been demoted to the bench

Bengaluru, Sept. 11: The Premier League season has just started but it seems like every team has already set a blueprint for the long season and there are few high profile players who currently appear to be out of the first team picture.

Big names from teams like Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool have struggled for game time in the Premier League this season. Some of the names have been absent due to injury, but there are five high-profile players who have simply fallen out of favour at their clubs.

1) Marcos Alonso

The Spaniard was a first-team regular since arriving three years back from Fiorentina. A key element of Antonio Conte's 2017 title-winning side at Chelsea, he made over 30 league appearances in each of his three seasons at Chelsea, but this term after Lampard's arrival, the 28-year-old has lost his place at left-back with Italy international Emerson Palmieri given preference.

Alonso is yet to make the field for Chelsea. He, however, now could see his gametime coming after the Italian international sustained a hamstring injury in the international break.

2) Nemanja Matic

The Serbia international's time under Jose Mourinho had been satisfying but after Solskjaer's arrival, he has since fallen down the pecking order at Old Trafford after a series of disappointing performances. Youngster Scott McTominay is now being preferred in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's new-look side and Matic has had only gotten 22 minutes of Premier League football. He only has one year left on his deal and recently has voiced his concern about lack of playing time. But at 31 years of age, his days at United looks to be over.

3) Dejan Lovren

The Croatian attained a huge subject of interest from Italy in the transfer window last month. Roma and Milan were heavily linked with the defender however with the Reds asking for a high fee a deal could not be capitalised. The 30-year-old, who joined the Reds from St Mary's in 2014, is fourth in the pecking order behind Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez and is yet to get a minute on the pitch. With the transfer window already shut down, he remains a Liverpool player until January at least, but he faces an uphill battle to secure regular football.

4) Shkodran Mustafi

The 27-year-old has made more than 35 appearances in each of his three campaigns at the Emirates but has never established himself. And after the signing of Luiz and Chambers set to be the backup defender in the squad, even behind the likes of Holding, it is understood that he has already been told to find a new club. The North London club last window tried to offload him but could not find a permanent deal for him. Heavily criticised since his £35m move from Valencia in 2016, Mustafi has struggled to live up to expectation and a January move now seems likely.

5) Jan Vertonghen

A surprising name on the list, the long-term Spurs servant this season suddenly has been restricted to the bench by Pochettino. The Belgian international has just played one game in the club's first four fixtures of the season. He was dropped from the squad for the opening day victory over Aston Villa and was an unused substitute against Manchester City and Newcastle before returning for the North London derby draw with Arsenal. Although, the Argentine manager indicated that a fitness issue was the reason for the 32-year-old's continued absence, though rumours have developed of a rift between the pair.

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Story first published: Wednesday, September 11, 2019, 12:15 [IST]
Other articles published on Sep 11, 2019
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