Whether it’s down to a negligent manager or a simple lack of effort, some players seem to rot away in the reserves at certain clubs.
While they still pick up plenty of dough each week to keep themselves relatively satisfied, footballers want to be playing week in, week out, rather than plotting their next move to a less esteemed club.
With all that in mind, here are a few players who just can’t seem to get a game for their clubs this season.
10. Lazar Markovic (Liverpool)
Liverpool spent roughly £117m during the 2014 summer, when Luis Suarez left for Barcelona, and one player drafted in was Serbian winger Lazar Markovic.
Costing just shy of £20m, the 23-year-old scored three goals in 34 appearances but was then sent out on loan to Turkish outfit Fenerbahce, Portuguese side Sporting CP and then-Premier League strugglers Hull City.
His future was not sorted out in the summer and Markovic was left to fight for a starting place under Jurgen Klopp against Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho. Needless to say, he didn’t win that battle and hasn’t appeared for Liverpool this season.
9. Angel Rangel (Swansea)
If you don’t support Swansea and aren’t a football hipster, there’s a fair chance you have never heard of Angel Rangel.
The Spaniard played a major role in the Swans’ progression from League One to England’s top flight but has been usurped by Kyle Naughton as the club’s first choice right-back in recent seasons.
Despite recently being named as Swansea’s club captain, Rangel has managed just three Premier League appearances this season, with two of those coming as a substitute.
8. Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester)
Leicester currently have plenty of strikers, but one forward with not much chance of a start any time soon is Ulloa.
Bought from Brighton in 2014, the 31-year-old managed 13 goals in his debut campaign at the King Power Stadium before playing a vital role as an impact sub during their historic 2015/16 Premier League winning season.
However, after some public disputes with the club, Ulloa has made just four league appearances for the Foxes and didn’t even make the bench for their recent FA Cup tie at Fleetwood.
7. Jerome Sinclair (Watford)
The 21-year-old left Liverpool in search of regular first-team football but that journey has proved anything but fruitful for Sinclair at Watford.
His only goal for the Hornets remains an FA Cup strike against Burton last year and he has three Premier League appearances this season totalling 28 minutes.
Sinclair was sent out on loan to Birmingham for the second half of last season and a similar move could be on the cards this month after a campaign of stagnation.
6. Stephen Ireland (Stoke)
Roughly 10 years ago Stephen Ireland was seen as one of the most promising attacking midfielders in the Premier League, having scoring nine goals for Manchester City in 2008/09.
However, a succession of injuries and poor form saw the former Republic of Ireland international shipped off to Aston Villa before another transfer to Stoke, where he currently resides.
Ireland has not played a Premier League match in either of the last two seasons, his last appearance coming in the FA Cup defeat to Coventry this month.
5. Dean Whitehead (Huddersfield)
Whitehead spent five seasons with Sunderland earlier in his career, helping the Black Cats achieve promotion to the Premier League twice.
The midfielder eventually moved to Stoke, becoming a regular and making 160 appearances in all competitions, netting five goals, before spending a few more years in the Championship with Middlesbrough and Huddersfield.
With the Terriers now in England’s top flight, manager David Wagner has called on 35-year-old Whitehead’s experience three times as a substitute in the Premier League, with Aaron Mooy, Danny Williams and Jonathan Hogg ahead of him in the pecking order.
4. Jordon Mutch (Crystal Palace)
Mutch impressed during his debut campaign in the Premier League, netting seven goals in 35 appearances for Cardiff City, and earned a move to Crystal Palace via a short-lived spell at QPR.
Alan Pardew kept faith with the attacking midfielder during the 2015/16 season but Mutch failed to reward his manager’s patience and still hasn’t scored for the Eagles.
The 26-year-old was shunted out on loan to Reading last year and hasn’t featured for Palace so far this season, despite their current injury crisis.
3. Stuart Taylor (Southampton)
The role of deputy goalkeeper is often a thankless and unfulfilled one, but spare a thought for Stuart Taylor, who joined Arsenal in 1997 and has made just 95 appearances since in a career spanning 12 clubs.
Taylor made 10 Premier League appearances as the Gunners won the competition in the 2001/02 season, but games have always been hard to come by for the now 37-year-old.
A former England international at youth level, Taylor is now at Southampton, where he acts as backup to both Alex McCarthy and Fraser Forster.
2. Anders Lindegaard (Burnley)
A Denmark international, there’s no doubting that Anders Lindegaard could do a job for most teams in the Premier League.
He signed for Burnley in September after unsuccessful spells at West Brom and Preston and may have been expecting some first-team action after Tom Heaton picked up a shoulder injury a week prior to his move.
However, deputy goalie Nick Pope has filled in for the England international admirably, leaving former Manchester United shot-stopper Lindegaard sat on the bench ever since he signed.
1. Baba Rahman (Chelsea)
Rahman made 15 Premier League appearances for Chelsea in his debut campaign for the Blues, who had a shocking season after winning England’s top flight in 2014-15 and eventually finished 10th.
The Ghana international spent last season on loan at Schalke but didn’t do enough to convince Antonio Conte of his pedigree, going unused so far this season.
With Marcos Alonso in such terrific form it’s unlikely Rahman will make any appearances for Chelsea this season, so a January or summer exit from Stamford Bridge could be on the horizon.