Top five players who were desperate to leave this summer
1. Cesc Fabregas
His highly coveted move to his home club never quite worked out. Arsene Wenger’s smooth voice managed to appeal to his inner Gooner so he’ll be sticking around for another season. No amount of Barca players’ shirt kidnappings and press outbursts could make the deal go through. The Fabrelona saga is finally over. For now.
2. Javier Mascherano
Roy Hodgson has come out today to claim he would rather hold onto Mascherano until he can leave on a free transfer in 2012 rather than play nice and send Javier back into the familiar arms of Rafa Benitez. Inter simply haven’t offered enough banknotes for a player they regard as worth a minimum of £25m. It’s claimed he doesn’t see playing for Liverpool as a hardship, but Masch just wants to go home (to his master).
3. Ashley Cole
Poor Ashley Cole has gone and upset the whole of the nation by cheating on X Factor darling Cheryl Cole, or Tweedy. Or is it Cole? Frankly, he’s had enough and not just is he fed up of his club, he’s fed up with the whole of England. Improving his sparkling profile, he sent a text to his mates: “I hate England and all the people in it.” He’s running from a mob somewhere in the direction of Madrid. Oh Ashley, you have such a way with words.
4. Hatem Ben Arfa
England is not the only country taking abuse from footballers. Marseille’s Hatem Ben Arfa refuses to train until he gets himself as far away from France as possible. Flirting with interest from Newcastle, which will send him to the most northern (and far away from French soil) team in the Premier League. Or if recent rumours are true, he may find a new home in Milan or Bremen.
5. James Milner
Everyone breathe a great big months-upon-months-worth-of-breath sigh of relief. The transfer that started in a galaxy long, long ago finally came to its conclusion. Milner was England and Mancini was Canada, but Ireland’s in the way of their embrace. Milner was so frustrated to still be at Villa at the beginning of the season he stuck the ball in frustration and it landed in the back of the net to make it 3-0. No I kid, the boy just wanted to win things. Who are we to argue with that?