The Isco situation at Real Madrid is not unique in European football, as there are several clubs that have set aside some of the most important players in their squad. For one reason or another, players such as Adrien Rabiot, James Rodriguez, Paulo Dybala, Riyad Mahrez and Mesut Ozil have all been dropped to the bench this season.
Rabiot‘s case is different from that of Isco, as it wasn’t Thomas Tuchel‘s decision to ostracise him from the squad. PSG decided to drop him to the reserve team, after the midfielder refused to renew his contract. “I have a good relationship with Adrien and he is not part of the team at the moment, but I will never hesitate to ask him to discuss the issue if necessary, as he trains very professionally, but it is a complicated case,” claimed the former Borussia Dortmund coach. The Frenchman’s contract ends in June and the player is determined to depart Paris on a free transfer.
Although James has performed well in the last few games, having assisted two goals in the previous three matches, the Colombian will probably depart Munich in the summer. He has started ten games from the bench so far this season and clashed with his coach Niko Kovac, after having played only 28 minutes in their Champions League game against Ajax. James has also labelled Bayern‘s sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic ‘fake’, after not playing a single minute against Mainz back in October.
The Argentine has started 22 Serie A games from the bench so far this season. In the last home game against Parma he went straight to the dressing room, after realising that he wouldn’t be coming onto the pitch, as Massimiliano Allegri had already made all three substitutions. “He has made a mistake, he has apologized and it ended there,” the Italian coach said after the match. The Argentine was subsequently dropped to the bench in the victory over Sassuolo, where Cristiano Ronaldo celebrated his goal imitating Dybala‘s marquee celebration – an action that has since sparked controversy.
The most expensive signing in the history of Manchester City has gone from being a regular under Pep Guardiola to just playing in the cup games. The former Leicester City forward has only played 24 minutes in the team’s last seven Premier League games. The best player in the Premier League in 2015/16 was left out of the squad against Huddersfield Town. “It’s a tactical rotation decision,” Guardiola said. “I know the potential of the player and I know he will be decisive at the end of the season.”
Arsenal‘s highest paid player has lost Unai Emery‘s confidence and has only played 14 out of the Gunners’ 26 games in the Premier League, due to injuries and tactical decisions. According to the BBC, the Spaniard suggested to the German midfielder that it would be better for him to depart the club. Knowing that he was going to be a substitute in a game against West Ham, Ozil didn’t go the stadium and his attitude in the last few months hasn’t sat well with the Arsenal board, as he was also present in a party, where several of his teammates were seen inhaling laughing gas.
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