10 players who deserve a bigger stage than their current Premier League club

first_img 10 8. Jack Butland (Stoke City) – Butland’s season only started at the end of April, but it surely won’t be long before he’s snapped up by one of the Premier League’s juggernauts. The 2015/16 season was his breakthrough in the top flight and with Stoke performing so poorly this term, he might have his eye on a move. He will be vying for the number one shirt for England and has been linked with Arsenal, Chelsea and both Manchester clubs. 10 6. Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) – It’s absolute madness that Sanchez – Arsenal’s best player by a long shot – is approaching the final year of his contract. He’s carried the Gunners for much of this season, so it’s little wonder he’s refused to commit his long-term future to the club. It didn’t work out for him at Barcelona, but the prospect of success at Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain or Bayern Munich, who are all reportedly interested in a deal, will be tough to ignore. 9. Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) – Make no mistake; Mahrez’s stock has fallen this season. But we all know what the Algerian has in his locker. He was the PFA Player of the Year in Leicester’s title-winning campaign and has perhaps been distracted by the attention. Arsenal and Real Madrid wanted him last summer, and he may choose to move on from the King Power Stadium at the end of this term. 10 2. Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea City) – Sigurdsson has been one of the best players in the Premier League this season. His nine goals and 13 assists have been crucial in the Swans miraculously escaping relegation, very much against the odds. In December last year, Mauricio Pochettino confessed his discontent at Spurs selling the playmaker soon after he took over as manager and he has been linked with a return to the club he left almost three years ago. Swansea will be desperate to keep hold of him, but he definitely shouldn’t be playing for a team battling relegation. 10 7. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) – There’s only one aspect of Coutinho’s game that has left him trailing Europe’s best playmakers and that’s consistency. This season though, that’s changed. Before his injury at the end of November, the Brazilian had been the best in his position in the league. Barcelona are being linked with a move and Liverpool might be worried at the prospect of his head being turned away from Anfield. 10 10 4. Jordan Pickford (Sunderland) – It is early days in Pickford’s career, but he’s proved that he can handle the intensity of the Premier League. Sunderland might have been relegated much earlier but for his form. It’s difficult to see him staying put and performing in the Championship next season. Only Tom Heaton (139) has made more saves than Pickford (132), and Everton have been linked with a move for his signature. 3. David De Gea (Manchester United) – United are no longer the club they once were. Keeping hold of Europe’s best players has been a problem at Old Trafford in recent years and De Gea might be another to leave. Real Madrid are set to return with an offer this summer and the prospect of title glory and Champions League success is far more attainable with Los Blancos. He’s one of the best goalkeepers in the world and will be frustrated as United continue to fall short in the Premier League. 5. Michael Keane (Burnley) – Offloaded by Manchester United permanently in January 2015, his former club are now interested in bringing him back to the club, such has been his fine form for the Clarets this season. His contract expires next summer and he is expected to leave Turf Moor in the next few months. Just 12 months in the top flight has seen his reputation flourish. 10 10 10. Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough) – click the arrow above, right, to take a look at nine other players we believe deserve a bigger stage than their current Premier League club – Gibson has proved his worth in the top flight this season. Boro may have suffered relegation, but it wasn’t their defence that was the problem. The club’s captain did his job at the back; it was at the other end of the field they really struggled. He recently confessed, in an interview with Sky Sports, that he isn’t sure where he’ll be next season, but wants to be playing in the Premier League. 10 10 Plenty of footballers think they deserve a bigger stage, but only a few actually do.There are some players whose quality stands out in their team, but who, in the Premier League, should be playing on a bigger stage?We’ve picked 10 players, from the English top flight, who we believe could move up a level – scroll through the gallery above to take a look at our picks. 1. Virgil van Dijk (Southampton) – Van Dijk is a wanted man this summer. The Dutchman hasn’t played since the end of January, spending time on the sidelines with an ankle injury, but demand for his signature hasn’t dropped. Premier League champions Chelsea are reportedly prepared to spend £60m to seal a deal this summer and few would begrudge the centre-back if he decides to swap St Mary’s for Stamford Bridge. It seems only a matter of time before he’s plying his trade with a Champions League club.last_img

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