It’s a wonderful life being a footballer in the English Premier League, yet some players just can’t seem to get their head around it. Many former failures of English football are now finding their feet across the water; however some have only gone downhill ever since their pitiful spell in this football-loving country.
Iago Aspas, world famous for THAT corner at Anfield, has brushed off all his hatred from former club Liverpool to challenge the likes of Messi and Ronaldo for Spain’s Golden Boot. The 29-year-old, viewed by many as one of Liverpool’s worst ever signings, is gladly back at his beloved Celta and has banged in 17 goals in all competitions this season.
Ex-United winger Nani is another proving his worth in La Liga, with an impressive seven assists for a massively disappointing Valencia side, compared to his inability to provide for one of the world’s greatest teams at Manchester United not so long ago.
Javier Hernandez and Serge Gnabry both have ten Bundesliga goals to their name this season, showing both United and Arsenal what they’re missing. Even the once-record signing at Leicester Andrej Kramaric is getting in on the act, essentially teasing his former club by soaring through the assist chart in an impressive season for high-flying Hoffenheim.
Former Liverpool youngster Suso is finally finding top form at Milan with countless vital assists for his new club, while Nikola Kalinic, once signed by Blackburn for seemingly a £6m bargain, has banged in 12 Serie A goals for his current club Fiorentina. This impressive season comes just two years after firing Dnipro to a Europa League final, although Anthony Stokes and Marvin Emnes are arguably the much better forwards. Wojciech Szczesny and Pepe Reina are flying the flag for goalkeepers with numerous clean sheets to their name, with the latter brutally mocking the current goalkeeping situation unfolding at Anfield.
Bafetimbi Gomis is unquestionably the winner of the entire spectacle that is forgotten Premier League footballers, with the on-loan Swansea player finding the net for fun for current club Marseille. Gomis remarkably now captains a Marseille side booming with familiar faces, most notably Patrice Evra, Abou Diaby and Clinton N’Jie. A revitalised Dimitri Payet is now also finding his feet, while it wouldn’t be a French club without a handful of Newcastle players thrown in there, so stand up Remy Cabella and Florian Thauvin.
Do however spare a thought for those who haven’t quite hit the heights the wanted to after an unsuccessful stint in English football. These forgotten men just can’t seem to catch a break.
Ex-Fulham centre back Fernando Amorebieta is one such example. The Venezuelan had a very productive and undoubtedly enjoyable life winning games at Athletic Bilbao before his move to West London, which was followed by a regrettable period at Middlesbrough. The 31-year-old now resides in Sporting Gijon, who sits second from bottom in La Liga, while he surprisingly sits top of a La Liga tally. Unfortunately for him that tally involves picking up the most yellow cards.
Emmanuel Riviere meanwhile finds himself in a similar situation, as the on-loan Newcastle striker sits rock bottom of Spain’s top division with Osasuna. On-loan Manchester United youngster Andreas Pereira has also had his hopes of first team English football dented, with his Granada side sitting 18th.
Journeyman Lewis Holtby, famous of course for his surprise at Fulham’s capturing of Felix Magath as their new manager, along with Johan Djourou, is failing to keep their Hamburg side in the Bundesliga. More ex-Spurs players are also struggling, as Schalke’s dream midfield duo of Benjamin Stambouli and Nabil Bentaleb are failing to bring the club much success in a miserable season so far.
Living legend Alessandro Diamante is incredibly still kicking a football in Italy, however certainly not as much as he used to, where his game time is limited at relegation-destined Palermo. Diamante however has been narrowly defeated in the former Premier League all-stars performing in Italy, with ex-Portsmouth and Sunderland hero Sulley Ali Muntari earning his trade at bottom of the table Pescara.
Mehdi Abeid, a fan favourite from his Newcastle United days, along with unsurprisingly another beloved Toon in Romain Amalfitano, are both struggling to keep Dijon in Ligue One, while incredibly Jeremie Aliadiere still lives life as a footballer, albeit for bottom of the league Lorient.