Five unwanted Premier League players impressing since January moves
Such is the wealth and turnover of squads in the Premier League, players often find themselves quickly out of favour and in need of a move.
The likes of Mathieu Debuchy and Michy Batshuayi were written off by some people in England but are now showcasing their ability on the continent.
Having played just 15 games in all competitions across his final three seasons at Arsenal, it was easy to forget that Debuchy actually arrived at the Emirates with a reputation as a fine full-back. Coming in from the cold for matches such as the 4-2 defeat to Nottingham Forest certainly did not help this.
Injuries and the emergence of Hector Bellerin meant Debuchy was firmly on the outer at Arsenal, and so he returned to his native France with Saint-Etienne and their lovely kit in January. Even the 32-year-old probably didn’t expect it to go this well.
A goal in a victory at Amiens on his debut was followed by a late equaliser against Lyon a few weeks later, meaning he has already beaten his tally for the Gunners.
In five matches with his new club, he is yet to taste defeat and is now being tipped to win back his place in the France squad ahead of this summer’s World Cup.
Just five weeks after leaving #Arsenal, Mathieu Debuchy has scored two goals, lost no games, become cult hero at St Etienne, been nominated alongside Neymar for #Ligue1 player of month award, and got himself back in World Cup contention for France
— Matt Spiro (@mattspiro) March 5, 2018
Batshuayi was somewhat of an enigma at Chelsea. The striker had a ridiculous goals-per-minute ratio but was seemingly never fancied by Antonio Conte.
The 24-year-old definitely has flaws in his game, but his goalscoring credentials cannot be doubted. In his opening three matches on loan at Borussia Dortmund he scored five goals, including match-winning braces against Cologne and Atalanta.
Remarkably, Batshuayi has now scored two or more goals in no less than seven competitions this season.
Another player who became a figure of derision at Arsenal, Coquelin was sold to Valencia in a £12million move, with few supporters sorry to see him depart.
Since moving to La Liga, he has been entrusted in a number of positions by Valencia boss Marcelino, appearing at centre-back, central midfield and even on the left and right of midfield.
Having never scored for Arsenal, the 26-year-old grabbed a late equaliser in a win over Malaga last month
Besic’s four years at Everton have been decimated by injury to date, and a loan move to Championship outfit Middlesbrough until the rest of the season made plenty of sense.
The midfielder has proved his fitness to establish himself in Tony Pulis’ side, starting their previous four matches in quick succession, and has made himself “indispensable”, according to Gazette journalist Jonathan Taylor.
Taylor told the Liverpool Echo: “He seems to have raised the game of those around him too. Besic seems to be the aggressor, the organiser, the conductor in Boro’s midfield. That’s some compliment for a player who’s only played four games in this team.”
I hope Steve Gibson woke up this morning and got straight on the phone to Moshiri and Bill Kenwright at Everton and said, name your price for Mo Besic
— Nathan Wilson (@naywilson96) March 3, 2018
Sakho seemed to have been in a permanent state of mad exit from West Ham for at least two years – although he still ranks fifth among the strikers signed by David Gold and David Sullivan.
After booking himself in for a medical with Rennes without West Ham’s consent in August, the striker finally got his move back to France in January.
Rennes are currently on a four-match unbeaten run and the 28-year-old has scored three goals in his first six appearances for the club.