Connect in the back of the net

Premier League has seen big names like Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Michy Batshuayi join big clubs in Manchester United and Chelsea respectively.

Relative nobodies such as Takuma Asano and Oleksandr Zinchenko have managed to sneak into the dressing rooms of big clubs such as Arsenal and Manchester City respectively.

However, many big names have also ended up at small clubs in the mix. Here are three big names, who have joined clubs that would not have stood a chance against their former clubs.


Victor Valdes

The rise of young talents coincided with the fall of many established stars in the past couple of seasons at Old Trafford.

Victor Valdes earned a United contract in the wake of his six-month training period, in January 2015, but David de Gea’s incredible form and his attitude issues saw him garner fewer first-team appearances than what he might have fancied.

At the end of his 18-month United contract, he now finds himself at newly promoted Premier League club Middlesbrough.

Thirty-seven-year-old Bournemouth ‘keeper Dimitrios Konstantopoulos took Championship by the storm last season, but whether he has been handed a contract is unknown – his contract expired last month.

Brad Guzan has also joined strong goalkeeping unit manager Aitor Karanka has created, but the former Barcelona man will likely be the first choice shot-stopper to feature between the sticks next season as he clearly has the upper hand over the rest.


Steve Mandanda

After nine successful seasons that saw him win lift Ligue 1 title and three Coupe de la Ligue trophies, Steve Mandanda bid adieu to Olympique Marseille in favour of a Crystal Palace switch.

The London club may have pulled off the bargain signing of the summer having brought down the established French international in a £1.5 million deal that underlines the lure of Premier League.

At Selhurst Park, he will lock horns with Wayne Hennessey, Julian Speroni and Alex McCarthy but, given his top-level experience and talent, he will likely make the other three wait for their chances on the sidelines as he makes the number one spot his own.

The Eagles can definitely eye a top-half finish in light of his arrival.


Alvaro Negredo

Alvaro Negredo’s career has largely spiralled down since his move to Valencia, and many news outlets even suggested that the Spanish club had looked to flog him to Arsenal hours after signing him.

Poor form married with fallout with Nuno Espirito Santo placed him at the periphery of happenings at the club.

The appointment of Gary Neville as the manager offered him a chance to revive his career, but the ship had already sailed.

Currently on loan with Middlesbrough, he will look to pick up where he left off in the Premier League.

At the Riverside Stadium, he will likely be the first-choice striker, operating in front of Gaston Ramirez and co.

At 30, the Middlesbrough move will likely be the last chance to prove himself in front of a big audience as a move to Major League Soccer or Chinese Super League may follow otherwise.


Written by Praveen Paramasivam

Follow Praveen on Twitter @49Praveen

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