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Five players in need of a fresh start

Sunday 5th March 2017
As the Premier League becomes increasingly competitive, it is tougher than ever for players to cement a place in the first team. With that in mind, here are five players that could benefit from leaving their clubs in the summer to get back playing first-team football.

Asmir Begović

In the last couple of years, the Bosnian been second choice keeper at Chelsea and has not managed to get ahead of Thibaut Courtois. His move to Chelsea may have been motivated by money but there is no denying that Begović wants to be a no. 1 keeper again. On transfer deadline day he tried to force a move to Bournemouth but Antonio Conte did not allow the deal to materialise, stating that he wanted to keep him as a backup to Courtois. Begović was a solid and reliable keeper for Stoke and I fully believe that he is better than half of the goalkeepers starting in the league at the moment.

Fabian Delph

During his Aston Villa days, Delph was a great central midfielder who could help dictate the game and feed the attackers. Sadly, it appears that his only use now is to help Manchester City reach their home-grown players' quota as he rarely features in the first team. Delph earned himself a negative reputation by claiming he would stay at Villa but then signing for City less than a week later. Whilst this was a selfish and disloyal act, he is good enough to be starting for a top flight side. As he has not started a league game for Pep Guardiola this season and does not appear to be in his plans, he should push for a move away. Delph was linked with a move to West Brom in January and if this interest continues, I believe it would be a smart move for him and for the Baggies.

Wayne Rooney

This is perhaps the most shocking inclusion and the most unlikely, but I truly feel that Rooney needs to leave Old Trafford in the summer. For a few years now, the Manchester United captain has not been the prolific goalscorer he used to be and I think it is time he had a fresh start. Whilst José Mourinho has stated that he wants Rooney to remain at the club, he also said that he would only play him as a striker. If Zlatan Ibrahimović's form continues I cannot see Rooney starting above the Swede and with all the talent he has, it would be tragic to see him become a regular on the bench. He has been amazing for the club and incredibly, surpassed Sir Bobby Charlton's goal-scoring record but in my opinion, it is time for him to move on and transform to the Rooney of old. Last month, Rooney pledged his future to United so a move away in the summer is doubtful but who knows...

Stranger things have happened!

Jay Rodriguez

Unfortunately, Rodriguez is one of those players who gets plagued with injuries and rarely manages to stay fit for a substantial number of games. In the 2013/14 season he scored 15 goals in 33 league appearances for Southampton but since then has only started 10 league games. New signing, Manolo Gabbiadini has had a sensational start to his career in England and it can be argued that he, Charlie Austin and Shane Long are all strikers above Rodriguez in the pecking order. He can play out wide but I feel he is most effective when he is more central and now he is back from injury, he may want to look for a new club to ensure first-team football. He certainly would be a valuable player for a lot of Premier League sides, especially those in need of an experienced striker.

Kelechi Iheanacho

The Nigerian burst onto the scenes last season and proved to be a devastating ‘super-sub' for Manchester City. In the first half of this season, Iheanacho continued to make substitute appearances for City but since the arrival of Gabriel Jesus, he has barely been able to make it into the match day squads.  The Brazilian superstar is injured at the moment but Iheanacho should still consider leaving in the summer. Guardiola will definitely sign one or two attacking players when the transfer window opens and this will lower the Nigerian's chances of playing for City. Other managers should look to sign the out of favour 20-year-old as he has a lot of pace and has already shown how well he can perform in the top flight.
Robert Wiltshire
I am a Creative Writing MA graduate with a love for playing, watching and writing about football.

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