End of Player Power? 6 Stars Who Remained at Their Club Despite Wanting Out

The 2017 summer transfer window was one of the busiest and most exciting in recent memory. Some of football’s biggest names were on the move, and transfer fees continued to grow exceedingly high, sometimes even entering nine figures. 

Yet despite the large amount of movement, many players who had expressed a desire to leave their current club – in some cases even handing in transfer requests – were unable to do so. Unlike in the case of Neymar, many players were unable to work their way into new situations.

Here are six stars who, despite wanting out, remained with their current club. 

6. Nacer Chadli

Port Vale v West Bromwich Albion - Pre-Season Friendly

One of the more low-key moves that was not quite completed revolved around West Brom winger, Nacer Chadli. The Belgian was reported to have wanted to move to Swansea City, something the Welsh side were mutually interested in, per BBC Sport.

However, the 28-year old is set instead to remain at the Hawthorns. Chadli joined the Midlands outfit last year, signing from Tottenham Hotspur in a deal worth £13m – a record for the Baggies.

5. Diego Costa

Spain v Colombia - International Friendly

A text message. Partying. The story of Diego Costa this summer has been one of confusion, and bewilderment.

After allegedly receiving a text from manager Antonio Conte stating he was no longer needed at Chelsea, Costa became something of an outcast at the Blues. Going forward, it is difficult to see him repairing his relationship with his manager.

4. Shkodran Mustafi

Stoke City v Arsenal - Premier League

Another player unable to leave as desired was Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi. The German defender wanted a departure from the Emirates Stadium after not receiving enough first team opportunities amongst struggles settling-in in England, per the Daily Express.

Since arriving from Valencia for a fee of £36.9m, Mustafi has struggled with injury and discipline, receiving 11 yellow cards in the Premier League last season.

3. Alexis Sánchez

Liverpool v Arsenal - Premier League

Another Arsenal figure who wanted to head out the door was Alexis Sánchez.

Rumours persisted throughout the transfer window that the Chilean star would be leaving Arsene Wenger’s side. In particular, Manchester City were highly interested, and this was said to be reciprocated by the winger.

With just one year left on his contract, Arsenal fans must be sweating it out as their side may soon lose their star player without getting anything in return.

2. Virgil van Dijk


Of all the players on this list, none wanted to leave their current club more than Virgil van Dijk.

The centre-back was one of Liverpool’s top targets this summer, and the Dutchman was eager to make the switch. However, Southampton remained firm on not selling the 26-year old.

At it’s worst, Van Dijk refused to train with the rest of the Southampton squad, and former England international Paul Merson even stated that he believed Van Dijk would not play for Southampton again, per the Daily Express.

1. Philippe Coutinho

Liverpool FC v Leicester City FC: Premier League Asia Trophy

Yet perhaps the biggest non-move of the summer transfer window was that of Philippe Coutinho.

The Brazilian star has stood out during his time at Liverpool, developing into one of the world’s premier attacking midfielders. This saw FC Barcelona swoop in, trying to secure the 25-year-old as a replacement for the departed Neymar.

Yet no matter how much the Spanish giants offered, Liverpool refused to sell. Coutinho even handed in a transfer request to try and force the issue, yet he remains in Merseyside.

Furthermore, unlike several other cases on this list – notably Sánchez – Coutinho has several years left on his contract, meaning all the cards are in Liverpool’s hand. 

It may take a lot of time – and money – for Coutinho to get his Barcelona wish.


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