Donny Van De Beek during the UEFA Europa League match Manchester United vs Sheriff Tiraspol at Old Trafford, Manchester, United Kingdom, 27th October 2022

5 players we can’t believe are still on the books of Premier League clubs

The summer transfer window is well underway, but spare a thought for those players you completely forgot were still on the books of Premier League clubs like Arsenal, Everton and Manchester United.

With supporters eagerly awaiting the next big-money arrival at their favourite club, it’s worth remembering that some of this lot were almost greeted with street parades when they moved to their Premier League destination.

We’ve identified five players we assumed had left England’s top flight some time ago and discovery of their continued employment in the Premier League sent our eyebrows skywards.

Donny van de Beek

It’s hard to work out why Manchester United signed Van de Beek in 2020, considering he’s barely played and turned from a promising midfielder into a world-class bench sitter.

The Netherlands international made just ten appearances in all competitions and his season was ended when he suffered a gruesome knee injury against Bournemouth in December.

He’s up for sale this summer, with a loan move to Roma mooted by various sources, but Van de Beek appears destined to remain forgotten if he remains at Old Trafford.

22 Oct 2022 - Chelsea v Manchester United - Premier League - Stamford Bridge Manchester United's Jadon Sancho during the Premier League match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, London.

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Nicolas Pepe

Remember when Pepe arrived at Arsenal for £72million and skinned Virgil van Dijk… every Arsenal fan you know let out a little wee with excitement over their new signing.

Four years later, everybody at Arsenal has moved on and the club are desperately seeking a buyer for the Ivory Coast international.

While the 28-year-old managed to score eight goals in 28 appearances at Nice last year, the Ligue 1 club indicated they are not interested in securing his services on a permanent basis.

It’s a sad fall from grace from a genuinely exciting player (on his day).

Philippe Coutinho

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

After shining at Liverpool, Coutinho was bought by Barcelona for an initial £105 million in January 2018. His toils in Spain are well-documented, but a move to Aston Villa last year was supposed to revitalise his ailing career.

But Unai Emery soon dispensed with the Brazilian attacker, whose irregular flashes of classes didn’t fit with his manager’s style.

He didn’t feature once in the final 15 games of the season, during which Villa lost only twice to secure European football, and will surely be in Saudi Arabia before too long.

Dele Alli

Yep. Bet you thought he left ages ago, didn’t you? But Dele remains on Everton’s books after returning from a fairly disastrous loan spell at Besiktas last season.

The midfielder did not play any games after 26 February 2023, and with only two goals scored in 13 games in Turkey, didn’t do his chances of a renaissance under Sean Dyche any favours.

Dele Alli of Besiktas celebrates after scoring his sides third goal during the Mid Season Friendly match between Besiktas and Istanbulspor at Vodafone Park on November 29, 2022 in Istanbul, Turkey.

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Harry Arter

Arter’s last appearance for Nottingham Forest was a two-minute sub appearance in January 2021. In the Championship. And he’s still got another year on his contract.

No further questions, your honour.

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