The summer transfer window is alive and well as the 2022-23 Premier League season draws closer, with Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City looking once again looking to end atop the pile come May in what is shaping up to potentially be one of the most hotly contested league seasons in recent memory.
Talking points for the upcoming campaign are seemingly endless, from the arrivals of striking duo Erling Haaland and Darwin Núñez adding another storyline in the growing City-Liverpool rivalry to the spending of Arsenal and Chelsea, and the intent behind it, the usual focus remains on what big names have been on the move in England rather than who may head for the exit row.
When it comes to the Premier League big six, a credible cadre of players is set to look for new employment opportunities this summer both in England and abroad, with many of the unwanted at the top tier of the league still capable of offering quality to ‘lesser’ clubs.
With that in mind, here is 101 Great Goals’ best XI of unwanted players from the big six in the Premier League.
Bernd Leno - Arsenal; £7.5m
Former Arsenal first-choice keeper and German international Bernd Leno remains one of the better shot-stoppers in the Premier League despite losing his place to Aaron Ramsdale last season and is already being targeted by Fulham this summer after previously said to have agreed to personal terms with the Cottagers. Still only 30 years old, Leno has plenty of miles left in the tank.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka - Manchester United; £21m
Still just 24 years old, England international Aaron Wan-Bissaka has almost his entire career ahead of him but many could potentially be surprised that the London native has not found himself in better standing. After he shone for Crystal Palace and earned his move to the Red Devils, AWB has been found out far too regularly while his stock has plummeted. But for a player once heralded as part of a new generation, there is still time for his career to get back on track.
Levi Colwill - Chelsea; £4m
One of a seemingly endless stream of talented youngsters coming through the Cobham Academy pipeline, Chelsea starlet and England U21 international Levi Colwill could also fail to secure a future at Stamford Bridge after the Blues remain intent on relying on spending power rather than the youth pipeline to supply the bulk of their talent. Colwill could have an escape plan with Southampton sniffing this summer, with St. Mary’s offering a well-trodden springboard to launch his professional career.
Japhet Tanganga - Tottenham; £10m
A life-long Tottenham player, London native Japhet Tanganga rose through the Spurs youth ranks prominently while also featuring at every international level for England from U16-U21, but still, his future in north London looks set to be elsewhere.
Linked with interest from AC Milan who could make a similar move for Tanganga as they did for Chelsea’s Fikayo Timori, the England youth international only needs time and minutes to realize his potential.
Sergio Reguilón - Tottenham; £21m
Tottenham fans were filled with excitement when Spanish international left-back Sergio Reguilón arrived in the Premier League last summer from global juggernaut Real Madrid, but despite performing to a decent level under three different managers, Reguilón could already be on his way back to Spain after just two seasons in the wake of not meeting Antonio Conte’s expectations. A move to Sevilla looks to be on the cards, especially after Tottenham secured Ivan Perišić earlier this summer.
Lucas Torreira - Arsenal; £17m
Once heralded as one of the top performers at Arsenal under Unai Emery during the first season in north London for the pair, Lucas Torreira has been on the outside looking in at the Emirates ever since the arrival of Mikel Arteta at the very least. A mediocre loan at Atlético Madrid was followed by a very impressive stint with Serie A outfit AFC Fiorentina last season, and the Uruguayan international is adamant about departing the club this summer. If his pell in Firenze is anything to go by, he’s fully capable of a career rebirth.
Tanguy Ndombélé - Tottenham; £25m
As part of a group of academy graduates that came through the academy set up at Ligue 1 giants Olympique Lyonnais, big things were expected from Tanguy Ndombélé and Tottenham’s big-money move for the Frenchman was heralded as a potential game-changer for Spurs ahead of the 2019-20 season. Fast-forward to the present, and Ndombélé failed to secure favor with Antonio Conte and is likely to move on this summer after his loan spell last season. Still just 25, a renaissance back in France could serve him well.
Ross Barkley - Chelsea; £10m
There was once a time when Ross Barkley was considered one of the best talents to ever emerge from storied Premier League club Everton, with expectations attached to the Liverpool native that he could be one of a new breed for England at the national team level. Though things looked on track for the Toffees, Barkley never hit the expected heights at Chelsea after a credible debut season in 2015-16. Well and truly on the outs at the club, the 28-year-old is in danger of becoming the next Jack Rodwell, but could still offer an experienced goal threat from midfield for a side looking to a mid-table finish.
Hakim Ziyech - Chelsea; £24m
An absolute monster in Dutch football across seven years in the Eredivise with SC Heerenveen, FC Twente Enschede, and AFC Ajax, Moroccan star Hakim Ziyech arrived at Chelsea as part of a major recruitment drive bent on challenging for the Premier League. Unfortunately for Ziyech, the now 29-year-old has been a shadow of his former self and looks set to depart this summer amid interest from Serie A giants AC Milan. He may not be a spring chicken, but he is still gifted enough to thrive in the right environment.
Timo Werner - Chelsea; £30m
The arrival of Timo Werner two summers ago was meant to supply Chelsea with a serious goal threat after the German international came off a superb period with RB Leipzig where he bagged 93-goals and added 40-assists in just 158-appearances, but has - despite his undeniable ability - been a total bust for the Blues and has failed to adapt to the rigors of the Premier League. Still capable of scoring goals in the right system and surroundings, he could find his scoring boots elsewhere this summer with relative ease.
Nicolas Pépé - Arsenal; £21m
Few Arsenal fans will forget the hype that came with club-record signing Nicolas Pépé when the Ivorian winger arrived from LOSC Lille three seasons ago under Unai Emery, but perhaps the fact that Emery wanted fellow Ivorian international Wilfried Zaha over Pépé was foreshadowing of the highest order. Unable to adapt to Mikel Arteta’s system and expectations, Arsenal could be set to take a massive hit on their initial investment amid interest from a host of clubs including Premier League side Leeds.