Five gifted players presented with the last opportunity to revive their career this summer

Like when the aroma of a dish leaves you wagging your tongue like a dog, only for the actual dish to taste like paper, it is heartbreaking to see a player blessed with enormous talent, promise so much but deliver so little.

Not the kind of list anyone thought Nuri Sahin would be topping but he, amongst a host of other players, leads the way as far as players who promised so much but delivered little are concerned. Sahin was one of the biggest poster-boys for Dortmund’s modern youth movement and he looked poised for greatness after he was voted the best player in the 2010/2011 German Bundesliga season. He moved to Real Madrid in the summer of 2011, and the rest they say – is history.

Here is a list of five other players who may be heading down the route of Nuri Sahin if they do not sieze this last opportunity to bring their career back on track:

Mario Balotelli
When Mario Balotelli scored those two delicious goals against Germany in the semi-final of the 2012 European Championship, he literally had the world at his feet. Now, sadly, all he has at his feet are his football shoes and some blisters after having been thrown out of the Anfield.

Nice may have been nice enough to offer the Italian some recompense but from how clubs disassociated themselves from him like a bad socket this summer, he must have realized this is his last chance to show everyone that he’s still got it – and at 25, he has a bit of time to do so.


Jack Wilshere

The ‘English Xavi’ whose most completed passes are from one hospital bed to another! Everyone knows how how talented Wilshere is. In terms of technical ability, he’s one of England’s most promising players and would be the first name on almost any team-sheet. But just like Balotelli, controversies and injuries haven’t helped his course. With his loan move to AFC Bournemouth from Arsenal, he has, possibly, the final chance to prove to everyone that, apart from ensuring team doctors are kept busy, he can bring back the kid who wowed everyone with his dazzling performance against Barcelona several years ago.


Mario Gotze

When Gotze left the well known Bayern Munich super market to join the real club, he had dreams of continuing his blistering form and winning laurels. Indeed, the laurels came but Gotze’s contribution was reduced to ensuring that rested players had some company on the bench.

The hugely talented player struggled with injury and Pep Guardiola’s famed 0-2-9-0-8-9-3 that requires everyone playing to pretend that they are not. With a return to the Signa Iduna Park  where it all started for him, the German must show us all that he’s still worth something.


While Isco may not have any problems hopping into the barber’s shop and finding a new hairstyle every week, the Spaniard has struggled to find form since he joined Real Madrid.
Even though Isco didn’t change clubs this summer, despite interest from several clubs, the fact that his club had an unfamiliar quiet in the window means he has no new names to contend with. He must take advantage of Zidane’s meritocracy and tie down a regular spot in the starting eleven.


Adnan Januzaj

The twenty-one year old was supposed to be the next big thing at the Old Trafford, but then ‘philosophy’ happened and things deteriorated very fast. With a loan move to Sunderland where he is expected to help Moyes survive a relegation battle the manager is already envisaging, Janujaz must prove a point. Or two.