Highest paid bench warmers in soccer history?


With Mesut Ozil not even making Arsenal's 20-man matchday squad on Wednesday, here is a look at some big-name players who earned huge salaries without contributing much, including Ghana striker Asamoah Gyan.

Despite not carrying an injury or having any other niggling fitness issues, Ozil was left out of the Arsenal squad that lost 3-0 to Manchester City in the Premier League this week.

After that match, Arteta insisted the former Real Madrid playmaker did not make his selection purely for tactical reasons, although many were surprised he was not even named as a substitute.

Ozil is Arsenal's highest-earning player on £350 000 (R7.5 million) a week, a salary he has not justified in recent seasons, and maybe even since he was given that deal in 2018.

The German has played a bit-part role at Arsenal over the past two years, and has often been linked with a move away from the London club. He remains the club's best-paid star, however.

Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale is another who might not be able to justify his wages, having been mainly used as a rotational player under manager Zinedine Zidane.That is not to say the 30-year-old has not contributed greatly over the years at Los Blancos just that he has not done so in recent times.

Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana feature in a list that makes them no compliments.

The two fringe players have spent a considerable amount of time on the Reds' bench.

And according to stats provided by bwin, both of them make top-10 of players who earn the most money during their time there.

The betting firm calculated those numbers by dividing the players' reported wages by the number of minutes they could potentially play in the season and then multiplying the result by the number of minutes they actually spent on the bench.

Of course, United's Alexis Sanchez is a strong leader, mainly due to his huge salary. The total amount is almost £5mln earned.

Sturridge comes second, as he has been a sub for 2,353 minutes, the biggest number in the Premier League this season. He's earned just £200,000 less than Sanchez from his time on the bench.

As for Adam Lallana, the creative midfielder is at the bottom of the list with a sum of over £2.5mln.

In recent decades, football has become increasingly wealthy. The Premier League, in particular, has benefited hugely from an influx of money from television rights deals. This money has filtered through to players, which means that now even squad players can earn tens of thousands of pounds a week.

Inevitably, given the nature of football and the soaring wages, there are now players at many a top club that remain on the bench game after game while continuing to earn an absolute fortune. Such players fall out of favour for various reasons, ranging from injury to loss of form to a change of manager, but their high wages often makes them hard to move on, meaning their clubs are left paying them a packet to do nothing, much to the frustration of supporters.

Since the formation of the Premier League, there are stacks of players who earned huge money while not playing, and it’s a plague that refuses to go away. One of the top authorities in sports news, 888sport have complied a list of players that got paid a staggering wage, without actually getting much pitch time. Why is this a trend we are still seeing today?

Clubs in the top flight assemble bulging squads and sometimes two players for each position, so it’s little surprise to see semi-decent professionals sitting on big wages for doing the square root of jack all.

Radamel Falcao

The Colombia striker, once spoken of in the same breath as players such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, scored an incredible 70 goals in just two seasons for Atlético Madrid between 2011 and 2013, earning a lucrative move to Monaco.

However, after a severe anterior cruciate ligament injury at the start of 2014, Falcao was loaned to Manchester United for the 2015-15 season, in a deal which saw him earn £265,000 a week. Falcao scored just four times for the Red Devils, and made only 17 starts in all competitions, and the club chose not to exercise their right to buy him.

Costa has had a turbulent season. After spitting in a Sassuolo player’s face in September, Costa served a four-match ban. Costa also hasn’t played a full 90-minute match the entire season — the closest was an 89-minute appearance in the SuperCoppa Italiana Final, where he left the pitch after he took a knock.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival may have something to do with the lack of game time, as the superstar has been cycled in the left and center forward positions by Massimiliano Allegri. 

Alexis Sanchez

ClubManchester United

Market Value: $51,000,000

League appearances: 11 | Starts: Five 

Alexis Sanchez has been Manchester United’s forgotten man for quite some time now. His signing for United instead of Manchester City seemed like quite the coup, but Sanchez has underwhelmed in his time in Manchester, to say the least.

At times, Sanchez looked like he was trying too hard, dribbling too much and not making the right passes. The good news is that Sanchez just made a 70-minute appearance in United’s 3-1 FA Cup win at Arsenal. He put in a good performance and looks like he’s ready to challenge for a place in the starting lineup again

Boyzn feedback-newshub@operanewshub.com