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Top 20 Soccer Players in Need of a Change of Scenery

One of the reasons that transfer figures have dramatically increased over the last two decades is that elite players are constantly seeking opportunities to play competitive matches. Players strive to achieve success at the highest levels of the game, but at most, only fourteen players can participate for a team in every match. This limited amount of first team football must be distributed by a constantly rotating cast of managers, who each have individual views on formations, tactics, positioning, and talent evaluation.

Roster building is a delicate balancing act, and when teams do not properly construct their rosters, it can leave players unsatisfied with playing time. It can also lead to managers being handcuffed to roster selections due to injury and fitness. These factors all play into an environment that can be detrimental to clubs and the professional progress of their players. The demand from fans to achieve results is constant and players face this pressure from fans of both club and country.

There are plenty of reasons for a player to want to move away from their current club. Contract disputes, dressing room personalities, and changes in management or philosophy, could cause a player to become unsettled. Others simply aren’t producing the results expected of them on the pitch and should probably find an environment more suited to their abilities. As the January transfer window approaches, these players could likely benefit from a change of scenery in the new year.

20 Geoff Cameron – Defender - Stoke City, USA

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

19 Ignazio Abate – Defender – AC Milan, Italy

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

18 Ashley Young – Winger – Manchester United, England

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

17 Michael Bradley – Midielder – Toronto FC, USA

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

16 Lucas Leiva – Midfielder – Liverpool, Brazil

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

15 Antonio Rudiger – Defender – Stuttgart, Germany

via mirror.co.uk

14 Lukas Podolski – Forward – Arsenal, Germany

via kooxaha.com

13 Nicolas Gaitan – Midfielder – Benfica, Argentina

via asysokak.org

12 Fredy Guarin – Midfielder – Inter Milan, Colombia

John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

11 Juan Cuadrado – Midfielder – Fiorentina, Colombia

via foxsports.com

10 Klaas Jan-Huntelaar – Striker – Schalke 04, Netherlands

via footballwallpaper.com

9 Jackson Martinez – Striker – Porto, Colombia

via 100x100fan.com

8 Lacina Traore – Striker – AS Monaco, Ivory Coast

via dailymail.co.uk

7 Adel Taarabt – Midfielder – Queens Park Rangers, Morocco

via metro.co.uk

6 Gabriel Barbosa – Forward – Santos, Brazil

via top100futbol.com

5 Virgil Van Dijk – Defender – Celtic, Netherlands

via foci-live.hu

4 Memphis Depay – Forward – PSV, Netherlands

via gaff.tv

3 Jozy Altidore – Striker – Sunderland, USA

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

2 Mario Balotelli – Striker – Liverpool, Italy

via thisisanfield.com

1 Andre Ayew – Midfielder – Marseille, Ghana

via mirror.co.uk

Andre Ayew’s transfer value has steadily risen since arriving in Marseille in 2007. He followed in his father Abidi Pele’s footsteps and was honored as the BBC African Footballer of the Year Award when he was only 21-years-old. Now at the age of 24, Ayew is entering the prime of his career and could be looking to excel in Champions League football and a higher profile domestic league. His contract is expiring in the summer, and big clubs will be looking to secure his services.

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Top 20 Soccer Players in Need of a Change of Scenery