Arsenal: Sead Kolasinac
Kolasinac arrived a year ago to general acclaim: a free transfer and a good fit for Arsene Wenger’s 3-4-3 system. With Nacho Monreal occupying the left-of-centre role in the Gunners’ back three, Kolasinac more often than not took up the wing-back position.
A handful of assists and a goal against Cologne early in his spell had fans salivating about his powerful runs and value for money, but Unai Emery’s reversion to a back four has changed matters.
An injury sidelined the Bosnian early this season and now Monreal has the left-back slot locked down, limiting the former Schalke man to just a single Europa League run-out so far.
Bournemouth: Jermain Defoe
Time has seemingly caught up with Defoe; he’s now 36 and has played only 13 minutes of Premier League football this season, yet this time last year he had started five of Bournemouth’s first eight top-flight matches of the campaign. Indeed, it had been enough to earn him a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the October internationals.
In 2018/19, however, the limits of Defoe’s action amount to a couple of cameo sub appearances and EFL Cup run-outs against MK Dons and Blackburn.
Brighton: Ezequiel Schelotto
Schelotto played midfield or full-back as needed last season, and started 10 matches in a row toward the end of the campaign. Thus far, though, he hasn’t even made a bench for the Seagulls across league or cup.
Far from ideal for the former Sporting CP and Inter full-back, then, although he’s far from the only player to drop off a club’s radar entirely this season…
Burnley: Tom Heaton
From first-choice goalkeeper, team captain and England World Cup squad candidate, to nowhere at all. Heaton’s misfortune can be traced back to a shoulder injury sustained last term, which led to Nick Pope’s unexpected promotion and fine form for the Clarets (then a deserved first England cap).
Heaton is fit again now, but yet to play in the Premier League this season thanks to the arrival of Joe Hart as Burnley’s new No.1.
Cardiff: Harry Arter
A positive change here. Arter was a Bournemouth regular for a time last season, but lost his place around December 2017 and didn’t make a Premier League appearance for the Cherries after New Year’s Day.
A half-season watching from the sidelines convinced the former Woking man to move on, and he’s been one of the relatively few bright spots for Cardiff at the start of 2018/19.
Chelsea: David Luiz