Karius, Drinkwater and Odegaard are back to work!


After a summer full of international tournaments on multiple continents begins to draw to a close, attention turns back to the domestic game as players show up for preseason training.

While many fly away after playing for their country, some return, perhaps reluctantly, to their home clubs after much longer absences. Some may even have trouble finding the training ground!

Take Loris Karius, for example, who surprised many Liverpool fans when he suddenly appeared in the club’s camp in Austria after spending the last three years on loan elsewhere.

Indeed, the sight of Karius loosening up in a Liverpool kit came as a shock to many who were surprised to find that the German goalkeeper is still on the club’s books, not having made an appearance in competition since 2018.

Karius has been on loan with Besiktas and Union Berlin, after his last appearance for Liverpool ended in calamity. He came against Real Madrid in the 2017-18 Champions League final, a night in which the stopper suffered a concussion in a collision with Sergio Ramos before making costly mistakes during the a 3-1 loss.

After another blunder in a preseason friendly early in the following season, he was dispatched and Alisson was signed from Rome in a world record transfer for a goalkeeper, with Karius still three years old. on his contract.

That contract has a year to go, although Karius – who only made four Bundesliga appearances for the Union last season – is expected to spend it on loan again. However, for now at least, he’s back in Liverpool’s fold and training with the first team.

Karius might be Liverpool’s forgotten man, but there are still plenty of big clubs with names that you’d be forgiven for thinking were moved on several moons ago.

Here is just a selection of the players you almost definitely forgot who were still technically in some of the biggest teams in the world.

Pereira was spotted training with United this week after spending last season in Italy with Lazio – the third in five seasons he has spent on loan.

The Belgium-born midfielder made his debut for United in the 2014-15 season but has found his opportunities somewhat limited since, making less than 50 league appearances in seven years at Old Trafford.

A former prodigy with ‘Mini Messi’ billing, Roberts signed for City from Fulham in 2015 (the same month Raheem Sterling joined the club) at the age of 18.

Roberts’ transfer cost £ 11million, but six years later the former England youth striker has only made one Premier League appearance for City (coming for the final four minutes of a 4-1 loss to Tottenham in September 2015). Indeed, the 24-year-old has generally been on loan since January 2016, when he signed his first loan deal with Celtic.

The attacking midfielder signed a two-year contract extension with City in May 2019, but has yet to feature for his parent club, instead spending time with Girona, Norwich City, Middlesbrough and County Derby between 2018 and 2021.

Signed from Leicester City for £ 35million in September 2017, just 12 months after winning the Premier League, Drinkwater’s time at Chelsea has been forgettable to say the least.

The 31-year-old midfielder hasn’t played for the Blues in three years and instead had to settle for a place among the club’s infamous “loan army” – an entire battalion of players who seem to be spending their lives whole to plow. itinerant paths elsewhere.

Drinkwater has spent time with Burnley and Aston Villa, and in Turkey with Kasimpasa for whom he made 11 appearances last season.

Indeed, Chelsea could bring together a whole team of absentees on his own, with like Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ross Barkley, Kenedy, Baba Rahman, Matt Miazga, Trevor Chalabah, Ethan Ampadu, Michy Batshuayi, Davide Zappacosta, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Lewis Baker is still on the payroll despite playing pretty much all of his football elsewhere.

Besides Karius, Liverpool were also joined by midfielder Grujic during their training camp in the Austrian mountains.

Now 25, the Serbian signed for the Reds in 2016 but only made eight Premier League appearances. Indeed, Grujic was loaned directly to Red Star Belgrade upon his arrival at Anfield, which more or less set the tone.

Then comes a rather forgettable stint with Cardiff in 2018, followed by two seasons at Hertha Berlin and another banal year in Portugal (2020-21) with FC Porto.

However, with a contract that runs until summer 2023, Grujic is back alongside Jurgen Klopp pending any further development.

There was a wave of excitement when Arsenal pushed back several rivals to secure the services of Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria for £ 26million in the summer of 2018. The combative Uruguayan international was supposed to provide some courage in the heart of the Gunners. midfielder for years to come.

After a decent first season, Torreira saw his progress halted when Unai Emery, who brought him to north London, was sacked and replaced by Mikel Arteta, who did not see the midfielder as so integral.

Reduced to pieces and cameos, Torreira left the Emirates to spend the 2020-2021 season on loan at Atletico Madrid, where he quickly won a trophy – a league title, nothing less – on first request.

Now he is back, with an uncertain future, linked with a return to Italy and has also expressed a desire to play for Barcelona.

Still only 34, it looks like Joe Hart has taken on a veteran role at Tottenham usually reserved for much more “senior” goalkeepers (think Scott Carson at Man City and Lee Grant at Man United), lending his experience to junior cohorts while proving in the weird cutting game here and there.

Hart last played in the Premier League while playing for Burnley in 2018 and has only made 10 appearances for Spurs in all competitions since his free transfer in the summer of 2020.

Yet he continues to tune in in the background, happy to play Hugo Lloris’ second violin.

Cuisance was seen as something of a young maestro when Bayern took the plunge and snatched him from Borussia Mönchengladbach in the summer of 2019.

The talented midfielder was crowned Gladbach’s player of the season during his first Bundesliga campaign (2017-18), after being recruited directly by Nancy’s Under-19 team.

Since moving to Bayern, the 21-year-old Frenchman has only played 90 minutes once, finding himself slipping down the pecking order.

After making just nine partial Bundesliga appearances in his debut season with Bayern, a permanent move to Leeds has been slated for the summer of 2020 only for the deal to fail due to medical failure.

Cuisance then opted to sign for Marseille on loan and spent the 2020-21 season at home in France, playing 30 games and scoring two goals. Now he’s back with Bayern, but for how long?

Many fans couldn’t be blamed for asking who Odegaard actually plays for, given he’s already on the books of seven teams at the age of 22.

After spending part of last season on loan at Arsenal, Odegaard has been called up to Real Madrid again for the preseason – a cycle he knows all too well now.

Odegaard was originally hired by Los Blancos as a teenage prodigy in 2015, after tearing up the Norwegian league at age 15 with Stromsgodset.

However, the skillful midfielder has barely looked at Real since graduating from Team B, playing for Heerenveen, Vitesse, Real Sociedad and the Gunners.

Can he now regain some of that once sensational momentum? He has only made eight La Liga appearances with Madrid, but with the departure of Zinedine Zidane and a brand new coach in Carlo Ancelotti to impress, perhaps 2021-22 could be the season the Norwegian playmaker finally does. tangible progress at the Bernabeu?





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