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Where Are They Now?: Januzaj & the Failed Premier League Youth Stars of Recent Times

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Tom Cleverley Watford Everton Manchester United Premier League
Watford are the seventh club Tom Cleverley has played for, and it's his third stint at the club.

John Guidetti - Deportivo Alaves

John Guidetti played for Manchester City between the years of 2010 and 2015 without making a single appearance for the Citizens. The Sweden international was sent on five loan spells, at the likes of Celtic, Burnley and Feyenoord. The most goals he has scored for a club is the 20 he hit in the 2011/12 season at the Dutch side, and it looked as if City might have a decent youngster on their hands.

However, nearly a decade later, the 28-year-old currently plies his trade in Spain with Deportivo Alaves and has recently comeback following an unsuccessful loan spell at Bundesliga 2 outfit Hannover 96. It really hasn't worked out as planned, in truth.

Rolando Aarons - Huddersfield Town

Life looked promising for Rolando Aarons when he made his Premier League debut for Newcastle United in August 2014 at the age of 18 years old, but he left the Tyneside club this season, just 21 appearances and two goals later.

Persistent changes of managers at St James’ Park contributed to his downturn in fortunes, as well as a series of failed loan moves to the likes of Hellas Verona, Slovan Liberec and Sheffield Wednesday. The Jamaican born winger now plays for Huddersfield Town in the Championship and this season will look to be the year he finally establishes himself.

Jordon Ibe - Derby County

Liverpool signed Jordon Ibe from Wycombe Wanderers in 2011, and shortly after Raheem Sterling’s emergence, similarities in their style saw them compared to each other and it looked as if the Reds had some of the best young wingers in the country.

However, having failed to impress at Anfield, the 25-year-old was sold to Bournemouth for £15m in 2016, but following four years of inconsistency, he was released by the south coast side upon the expiry of his contract and now plays for Derby County in the Championship, where he continues to struggle with just one appearance all season.

Adnan Januzaj - Real Sociedad

Adnan Januzaj may have done fairly well for himself, as he currently plays for La Liga side Real Sociedad following his departure from Old Trafford in 2017, but he was destined to be world-class and the future of Manchester United.

The Belgium international was a hit at United from the moment he scored an incredible brace in a 2-1 win at Sunderland in October 2013 under the management of David Moyes. However, due to Moyes’ failures as United manager, he was sacked and eventually replaced by Louis van Gaal who never nurtured Januzaj and loaned him out to Borussia Dortmund despite starting the 2015/16 season brightly.

United’s next manager Jose Mourinho never gave Januzaj the second chance he warranted and loaned him out to Sunderland, before selling the 26-year-old to Sociedad. He's done ok since, but he's not the Januzaj we expected.

Dominic Solanke - AFC Bournemouth

Solanke, like Ibe, is another player that made the switch to Liverpool from Bournemouth, having played a major role in England’s Under 20’s winning the World Cup in 2017.

The 23-year-old joined the Cherries for £19m having failed to play on a consistent basis at Anfield, and only managed three goals in 42 Premier League appearances for the south coast club. He is currently still at Bournemouth, however, they are now in the Championship where he has found some goalscoring form and he might just have found his level to be honest.

Joel Campbell - Club Leon

Costa Rica winger Joel Campbell signed for Arsenal from Saprissa in the summer of 2011 aged 19 years old. He played just 23 times in seven years for the Gunners under Arsene Wenger and signed for Italian side Frosinone in the summer of 2018, before leaving them to play for Mexican outfit Club Leon.

Campbell underwent seven loan spells whilst at the Emirates Stadium, and failed to impress at the likes of Lorient and Real Betis and although he looked decent for club and country around 2014-2016, he never really kicked on.

Lucas Piazon - Sporting Braga

Lucas Piazon spent nine years at Chelsea and made just one Premier League appearance for Stamford Bridge club in the league, which came against Aston Villa in December 2013.

The Brazilian was said to be one of the hottest prospects in world football when he was signed from Sao Paolo on a pre-contract in 2011 and ended up going on seven loan spells, only really impressing at Dutch side Vitesse in the 2013/14 season. In the most recent January transfer window, he signed a four-year deal at Sporting Braga after almost a decade of waiting for life to start at Chelsea - quite sad really.

Zeki Fryers - Swindon Town

Zeki Fryers looked like one of the best young left-backs in the game when he was at Manchester United up until 2012. He then left the Old Trafford club to go to Tottenham Hotspur and then made the transfer to Standard Liege.

Joining the Belgian side meant that Spurs didn’t have to pay a compensation package for the Manchester-born defender which was criticised by Sir Alex Ferguson as blatant manipulation of the rules. Since then, Fryers has been released by Spurs, Crystal Palace and Barnsley and now plays for Swindon Town in League One.

Quite a downfall, but he is playing consistently.

Patrick Roberts - Derby County (loan)

Patrick Roberts looked like he could be on the verge of stardom when he was at Fulham and at 17, the world was his oyster with reports on even the likes of Real Madrid after him. However, a naive move to Manchester City in 2015 has significantly stalled his career.

Since moving to the Etihad Stadium, he has made just one league appearance, and has spent several loan spells away from City, at the likes of Celtic, Girona, Norwich, Middlesbrough and currently Derby County.

Chuba Akpom - Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough striker Chuba Akpom was one of the hottest prospects in Arsenal’s academy having had an impressive goalscoring record at the north London club prior to making his debut in September 2013 against Sunderland.

The 24-year-old never scored for the Gunners at first-team level and was sent out on five loan moves in five years and scored just nine goals. Following his release by Arsenal, he plied his trade in Greece for two years at PAOK, before making a switch to the Riverside last September.

Nick Powell - Stoke City

Nick Powell signed for Manchester United on the back of a very impressive campaign for Crewe Alexandra in League Two in 2011/12, where he scored 14 goals in 38 games, including a stunning volley in their play-off final win against Wycombe Wanderers, which saw Alexandra promoted to League One.

Life started well for Powell at Old Trafford, as he scored a stunning goal on his Premier League debut against Wigan Athletic in September 2012 in a 4-0 win. However, that was to be one of just four league appearances he would make for the Red Devils in his four years at the club, having not been fancied by the likes of Moyes and van Gaal after Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.

The Crewe-born midfielder went on loan to the likes of Wigan, Leicester City and Hull City, before settling at Wigan, scoring 29 goals in 92 league appearances for the Latics, which has since seen him being snapped up by Stoke City in the Championship.

Saido Berahino - Charleroi (loan)

Former West Bromwich Albion striker Saido Berahino was a sensation at the Hawthorns, having burst onto the scene, scoring a winner at Old Trafford against United in his first full season of first-team football at the club. He scored 35 league goals in 100 league games at Albion, however, his time at the Midlands club was blighted by fallouts with the club’s hierarchy having refused to let him leave for Tottenham Hotspur.

Berahino was eventually sold, but it was not the move he had aspired, as it was to Stoke in 2017, where he had an unsuccessful time and looked a shadow of his former self, scoring just three league goals in 51 appearances, before having his contract terminated by the Potters in 2019.

Since then, he has signed for Belgian First division side Zulte Waregem, and was loaned out to Charleroi this campaign. To think he was once reportedly very close to joining Juventus.

Tom Ince - Luton Town (loan)

Tom Ince is the son of former Liverpool midfielder Paul Ince, and ultimately, it was listening to his dad’s advice which might be his biggest career regret.

Having been allowed to join Blackpool from Liverpool on a free transfer in 2011, and regarded as one of the hottest prospects in the country when playing in the Championship for the Seasiders, there were many clubs interested in the Stockport-born winger.

Ince’s contract was coming to an end at the end of the 2013/14 season, which prompted the winger to search for a new club in the summer of 2013, with the likes of Inter Milan, AS Monaco and Ajax all rumoured to be interested, as well as former club Liverpool being in the mix to re-sign him, he turned all of these offers down and chose to go to Crystal Palace on loan in the January transfer window.

Since his time at Selhurst Park, he has had seven clubs in seven years, ranging from Huddersfield Town in the Premier League to his current club Luton Town, where he is currently on loan at.