In life, just as have friends who show so much promise but then due to some reasons they just don’t fulfill them.
This same scenario exists in football. A player will emerge from the youth academy brimming with extraordinary ability but five years later on, he’s struggling to start for the team.
Today, we profile players who were so talented and had so much promise but due to one problem or the other, they failed to meet our expectations. Here are players that showed promises but never got to the top of their career.
1. Andrei Arshavin
The Russian machine hit the ground running in his first season. Banging in goals. Setting up chances in a team that had Fàbregas and Diaby as the midfield core. Here’s how we all best remember him, Arshavin banging in four goals for Arsenal when they drew 4-4 against Liverpool.
But then, inconsistency in the seasons that followed and also his inability to always trackback to help the defence was his major undoing. He would later return to Zenit St. Petersburg and right now, no one knows his current club. Oops.
What a great player. The only player on Winning Eleven 8 that had 99 shooting power. Adriano was a monster, the one Brazilians thought would replace Ronaldo De Lima.
2004-2005, Adriano bagged a total of 42 goals in all competitions for Inter. Not until life happened.
His father died and he eventually suffered from depression and alcoholism which affected his performances. But he never pulled out of it. Sad stuff.
Bad boy. His style on the pitch was always associated with dirty tricks and controversies. Balotelli’s talent was so noticeable during his time at Inter but then he wasn’t disciplined. Even Mourinho couldn’t deal with him and had to ship him off to Man City.
There, he banged in goals but his performances and off-field activities continued to be enigmatic and unpredictable. Balotelli eventually fell out of favour with Mancini after a “training ground bust-up”.
Ever since then, he’s barely spent two seasons at a club. From Milan to Liverpool to Nice to Marseille. If he was disciplined, he could have been a world-class striker.
Poster boy under David Moyes, Januzaj had this pace and trickery on the ball and was known that season as a super-sub sensation.
But then, he struggled with form as he failed to bang in the goals and assists and then he fell out of favour with consequent managers, Louis Van Gaal and Mourinho.
He was sent on loan on to Sunderland and Dortmund and currently plies his trade at Real Sociedad. Grace to Grass?
Just like Adriano, Jo was gifted and skilled yet he was wayward. Having so much promise at CSKA hitting in 44 goals in 77 games, Man City snapped him up in 2008. But here, he battled for starting places with Bellamy and Robinho.
Loaned to David Moyes’ Everton, he was suspended for breach of conduct and while he tried out at clubs like Galatasaray, Atletico Mineiro, he never fulfilled that lethal form that characterized his early career.
Robinho back then is what Neymar is now. Tricky with incredible dribbling skills, Robinho mesmerized defences. Slowly, he was turning to be a legend in Real Madrid not until a mouth-watering offer came in from Man City.
His debut season was lit but injuries and new arrivals were to his disadvantage the next season. He was later offloaded back to Santos, but only if he had stayed at Real Madrid.
Quaresma was in the similitude of Ronaldinho then. Pacy with great dribbling ability, Quaresma use to terrorize defences. His major undoing however was that he was unruly.
He had problems with Rijkaard at Barcelona, Mourinho at Inter Milan and he never stayed at one club for long meaning he had less impact at those clubs.
Bojan was that kid whose success was stalled just because another kid was popping too. No doubt about his talent but Messi was on the rave then with Eto’o and Henry also in the squad.
It meant he was always that super-sub or that player who plays when the team is about to play Girona. So much promise but he just didn’t fulfill them.
Lord Bendtner. Arsenal surely has fond memories of the striker. Always popping up to save them. Lanky, with exceptional shooting abilities but what he battled with was inconsistency.
Bendtner would score a hat trick in a game and could go months without scoring again. Obviously, no club can rely on such a player.
Gotze remains the king of this list. He outshined his peer and was a master class player at a very tender age.
He shone so brightly at the 2014 world cup qualifiers and who wouldn’t remember his goal at the world cup final.
He was tipped to be better than Messi and many clubs eyed him after the world cup. He faded away in the thin air and he was nowhere to be found with those incredible talents of his.
A few months ago, Gotze released a long emotional press admitting he had a failed career despite being the tipped as the future of football.
Which Player Disappointed You The Most?