It never ceases to amaze me in this day and age that football managers fail to put contingencies in place in order to ensure that the nightmare of losing of key players doesn’t have an adverse affect on performances on the pitch. It happens all the time and supporters have to listen to the overused statements claiming how Player X has been missed this season, or had Player Y been playing it would have been different. The fact of the matter is that for the large part most clubs know a good 12 months in advance whether a player is on the move, set to retire, unhappy, and yet nothing is in place once the inevitable happens.
Arsene Wenger may bemoan the loss of Fabregas this summer (the most predictable transfer of the year) and yet waits until the last hour of the transfer window to bring in Mikel Arteta. It beggars belief at the lack of planning from the football club. Rafa Benitez upset Xabi Alonso to the extent that every man and his dog knew that he will look to leave Anfield, but rather than broker a deal with Real Madrid to ensure there is enough time to buy a replacement, he settles until the last knockings of the summer and inexplicably signs a player, in Aquilani, who wasn’t even fit to play for months after his move – a crazy situation and one to bemuse supporters. It has even happened to Sir Alex Ferguson, who was delighted to welcome back Paul Scholes from retirement, largely down to the fact he hadn’t bought a replacement in the summer.
I have compiled a top 10 list on players whose departure from the club caused a notable problem and in some cases are yet to be resolved at their respective clubs.
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