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5 Players Who Will Hope That Moves Away Will Reinvigorate Their Careers


Nicolas Pepe - Nice

Big things were expected of attacker Nicolas Pepe when he signed for Arsenal from Lille for a club-record fee of £72m in 2019 - the Ivorian had netted an astonishing 22 goals alongside 11 assists in what was a stellar 2018-19 campaign.

The numbers he produced that season are ultimately what earned him his move to the Gunners, but he has failed to have the same kind of impact in North London. In over 100 games for the club, he has scored 27 times and grabbed 21 assists, with his best form coming in the 2020-21 season (16 goals in all competitions).

But in his other two seasons for Arsenal, Pepe failed to hit a double-digits goals tally in all competitions, with only eight in 19/20, and a paltry three last season. A big part of Mikel Arteta's time at Arsenal has been clearing out deadwood players, and Pepe falls under that bracket.

A hefty transfer fee and large wages, combined with inconsistent form has seen him fall out of favour and he rarely started under Arteta, and so a loan move this summer was needed for the Ivorian's career. Nice have signed Pepe on a season-long loan, and perhaps being back in the French league where he performed so well before, is what Pepe needs.

Arteta's possession-based set-up meant that Arsenal did not always play to Pepe's strengths, but in France, where Pepe has previously found success playing in a counter-attacking team, perhaps he can regain his form and get his career back on track.

Timo Werner - RB Leipzig

Timo Werner was one of the most sought-after forwards in Europe just a few years ago, with many of the continent's biggest clubs interested in the German. But, just two years on from ending all that transfer speculation by deciding to join Chelsea in a £45m summer move, the German now finds himself back at the club where he made his name.

RB Leipzig have re-signed the striker on a permanent deal for around £25m, and it is a deal that Chelsea will be glad to have done. With such a huge outlay on the forward and the mega-wages he was inevitably receiving, big things were expected of Werner.

Instead of getting the man who had scored 95 goals in 159 matches for Leipzig, the Blues instead got a player who would go on to score just 23 goals in nearly 90 appearances for the club - Werner's highest league tally for Chelsea would be just the six goals he scored in the 2020-21 season.

Werner's time at Stamford Bridge was beset by poor form on the pitch, exacerbated by manager Thomas Tuchel. Werner and Tuchel reportedly fell out with each other due to the striker's unhappiness with not only where he was being deployed on the pitch, but also because of how much game time he was getting. So after a difficult two years in London, a return to the club whom he performed so well for beckons, and if any club can reinvigorate Werner's career, it's surely RB Leipzig.

Lucas Torreira - Galatasaray

One of the most highly-rated young players going into the 2018 World Cup was Uruguayan defensive midfielder Lucas Torreira. The midfielder had been gaining the attention of many with his impressive performances in the middle of the park for Serie A side Sampdoria, with several clubs interested in the midfielder.

One such club was Arsenal, who were ultimately able to complete the signing of Torreira after Uruguay's quarter-final exit at the World Cup. He would go on to make 89 appearances for the Gunners, but like so many players previously, his time in England was beset by homesickness.

Torreira would, to the annoyance of fans, regularly come out in the media and state his plans of moving back to a warmer climate like South America or mainland Europe to play his football. And so just two years into a five-year contract, Torreira found himself out on loan - first at Atletico Madrid, before spending last season with Fiorentina.

Torreira wanted to make a move to one of these clubs permanent, but nothing ever materialised. But after a summer of being linked with many clubs around Europe, Torreira has now signed for Turkish outfit Galatasaray. While on the surface it may seem like an underwhelming transfer, a move to the Turkish giants is a good thing for the midfielder for many reasons.

Ultimately, the 26-year-old will still be playing at a high-level meaning that if he keeps himself in contention for a spot in Uruguay's squad for the upcoming World Cup and Copa America, and he will certainly relish the chance of playing in a title race - Galatasaray haven’t won the Süper Lig title since their victorious 2018-19 campaign.

This is the move away from England that he has been wanting, and he will get to link up with fellow Uruguayan Fernando Muslera as well - all of this will surely help the midfielder put in some fantastic performances, which his career certainly needs after a challenging few years.

Paul Pogba - Juventus

Upon the expiry of his Manchester United contract, Paul Pogba has decided to re-join the club that he originally left the Red Devils for back in 2012, with Juventus picking up the midfielder on a four-year deal.

The Frenchman made 178 appearances for Juventus during his first four years in Italy, picking up four Serie A titles and helping his side to the Champions League final in 2015. Pogba made a then record-breaking move back to the Red Devils in August of 2016, with the fee reported to be around £89m.

On paper it seemed to be a great move for all parties – Juventus got themselves a huge sum of money, Pogba got a move back to the club that he felt he hadn't been given a proper chance with previously, and United were getting themselves a supremely talented player.

It all started very well, with Pogba winning the EFL Cup and Europa League in his first season back at the club. But that was as good as it would get, because Pogba would not win another trophy with United. Instead, the rest of his time at the club would be filled with problems - injuries, patchy form, and well-publicised disagreements with then-manager Jose Mourinho.

Years of on and off-field problems created a toxic environment at United, and so with his contract coming to an end, Pogba has made the decision to re-join Juventus and see if he can get his career back on track.

The Old Lady will have to pay the midfielder mega-wages, but in Pogba, they have a player, who at 29, still has many years to give and is one of the finest midfielders in football on his day. Juventus will definitely need Pogba for the upcoming season- they finished in fourth place for the second successive season last year, and the chance to get Juventus back to the summit of Serie A is a challenge that Pogba will surely relish.

Divock Origi - AC Milan

Liverpool cult hero Divock Origi has finally brought an end to his Anfield stay this summer, with the forward signing a four-year deal with current Serie A champions AC Milan.

Origi spent eight years with Liverpool, but after struggling to secure regular game time in recent seasons and with the expiry of his contract this summer, the forward has made the move to Italy for the sake of his career.

The Belgian played a huge part in one of the most successful periods in the club's history, with his crucial goals spurring Liverpool to domestic and European glory. But he found a regular starting berth hard to come by at Liverpool due to the presence of world-class attackers like Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

By making the move to Serie A, the Belgian has a chance to cement himself not only as a key player, but as the main man for a Milan side that will look to be challenging for the title again this year after a successful 2021-22 campaign.

Origi made just seven league appearances for the Reds last season, but a move to Milan will surely solve this issue - with manager Stefano Pioli likely to need to rotate his squad this season due to Milan's Champions League commitments. And at just 27, Origi is nearing his prime and can still play at the top level for a few more years, so a move to Milan presents the Belgian with the chance to get regular playing time and to add to his winners-medal collection.