With the New Year approaching, several Premier League players will be looking for a fresh start. We take a look at five players whose New Year’s Resolution could be summed up by the phrase ‘should be doing better.’
John Stones (Man City)
The Premier League’s most expensive defender arrived at The Etihad Stadium in the summer to much fanfare and things looked rosy as City embarked on an 11-match unbeaten run to start the season. The wheels have come off a little since with the 22-year old defender losing form which resulted in him being dropped by Pep Guardiola for City’s last two games.
While still very young, it can hardly be considered a crisis. Nevertheless, Stones and Guardiola must be hoping that he can regain his Everton form in the New Year.
Ross Barkley (Everton)
Once touted as the future of England football, Barkley is in danger of becoming one of those players who never fulfils his true potential.
Good result on the weekend, time to kick on… pic.twitter.com/LabuEy92y5
— Ross Barkley (@RBarkley20) November 1, 2016
A match-winner on his day, the 23-year old delights and disappoints in equal measure and his patchy form is becoming a source of frustration for manager Ronald Koeman, who has been critical of him this term.
Barkley will need to step up to the plate and make consistency his watchword for 2017 if he is to work his way back into the England set up and achieve what we all know he is capable of.
Olivier Giroud (Arsenal)
A mystery for Arsenal fans to ponder. How can France’s main striker and Arsenal’s top scorer from last season with 24 goals in all competitions suddenly be unable to get into the team?
The answer is Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean’s sparkling form in a new central role means that through no fault of his own Giroud is yet to start a league game this season and may have to look elsewhere for regular football.
The Frenchman really needs a break in the New Year, or perhaps he will be hoping that the rumours of Sanchez heading to China are true.
Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool)
Sturridge has been a revelation for Liverpool since Brendan Rodgers signed him from Chelsea, netting 43 goals in only 79 appearances, but injuries have kept him out for long spells leading to criticism that he is not tough enough.
Time to man up?
So far this season, injuries – again – as well as the form of Liverpool’s talented attacking trio of Firmino, Coutinho and Sadio Mane, along with Adam Lallana have relegated him to a bit-part role.
Although he is a top-class striker capable of game-changing contributions, Sturridge may have to bite the bullet and get mentally tougher, and play through the pain in 2017 if he is to become a regular again at Anfield and make the most of his undoubted talents.
Bastian Schweinsteiger (Manchester United)
With a pedigree that is beyond doubt it remains a mystery why the World Cup winner has been frozen out at Manchester United under Jose Mourinho. The 32-year-old German international has yet to make an appearance in the Premier League for the Red Devils this season and is obviously not part of The Special One’s plans.
A move to another club looks like the only way the German legend will be getting any regular football anytime soon and he probably can’t wait for January to come around.