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Former Premier League players who could return in January

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David de Gea has been linked to a return to the Premier League Photo Bleacher scaled
David de Gea has been linked to a return to the Premier League. Photo/ Bleacher Report
  • Premier League teams will soon have the opportunity to spend big money on new players as the January transfer window approaches.
  • We’ve taken a look at former Premier League players who are linked to a January return to English football.

Premier League teams will soon have the opportunity to spend big money on new players as the January transfer window approaches.

While there will undoubtedly be a lot of transfer rumors and enthusiasm around midseason additions in January, not every new player might be a face familiar to Premier League fans.

We’ve taken a look at former Premier League players who are linked to a January return to English football as the transfer rumor mill gets ready to go into overdrive.

Ruben Neves

Ruben Neves Photo Goal scaled

Ruben Neves. Photo/Goal

Newcastle’s ties to Saudi Arabia sparked a decision last month to prohibit affiliated clubs from doing loans to one another during the January transfer window. In the event that a 14-team majority cannot be reached, regulations will not be enforced, allowing the Magpies to recruit players from Saudi Pro League teams that are also partially owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), which owns 80% of Newcastle.

In the group was Ruben Neves. The former captain of Wolves shocked everyone when he announced his departure from the Premier League for Saudi Arabia in the summer of last year. The Portugal international was forthright in his justification, citing the rich contract and an ambitious project as the main motivators.

But since then, there have been rumors that the 26-year-old is unhappy with life in the league, and he has been connected to both Newcastle and Arsenal. Neves would be a fantastic midfield replacement for Italian summer hire Sandro Tonali, who was suspended for eight months for breaking betting regulations earlier in the season. If a credit agreement does come through, though, it won’t likely be well received by other division members.

Jeremie Frimpong

Jeremie Frimpong Photo Goal scaled

Jeremie Frimpong. Photo/ Goal

Another player who had to leave the Premier League to get regular playing time is Jeremie Frimpong, whose subsequent performances have sparked rumors of a high-profile return to English football.

The 2019–20 Celtic player, a product of the Manchester City academy, won a Scottish triple before moving to Bayer Leverkusen in January 2021 for an unknown sum. After that, Frimpong developed into one of the best wing-backs in European football, winning a spot on the 2022–2023 Bundesliga Team of the Season.

READ: Why Chelsea sold Kevin De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah

He debuted for the Netherlands on the international scene in October of this year, and since then, he and Alejandro Grimaldo have created a fantastic full-back duo for the undefeated Bundesliga league leaders.

In his fifteen league games for Leverkusen, Frimpong has five goals and five assists. Manchester United is one of the teams that is reportedly contemplating an offer. His release clause, worth €40 million (£34.4 million), only kicks in over the summer.

Raphinha

Raphinha

Raphinha. Photo/ FC Barcelona.

After finding it difficult to play regularly in Barcelona’s first squad this season, Raphinha has been linked to a return to the Premier League.

The Spanish champions, who are supposedly open to the ex-Leeds winger leaving if the right bids come in, have only seen the player start six league games.

Before moving to Spain, Arsenal and Chelsea made moves to capture the 27-year-old Brazilian international, who finished his two Premier League seasons at Leeds with 17 goals and 12 assists.

Barcelona is reportedly exploring a trade proposal including Jadon Sancho, but they will need to at least recover their £55 million investment before approving a permanent exit. With Erik ten Hag’s forward line struggling this year, Raphinha may provide much-needed talent in wide areas.

Since joining Barcelona in 2022, he has averaged one goal or assist per 130 minutes in La Liga.

David de Gea

Since departing Manchester United in the summer, David de Gea has been without a club; the Spanish goalkeeper’s contract was not extended at Old Trafford.

After being replaced by Andre Onana after 12 years of service, the 33-year-old would undoubtedly have found some solace in the Cameroonian’s lackluster debut.

De Gea has shown patience in choosing his next professional endeavor since reports that he would be joining the Saudi Pro League have not materialized. With the announcement that Nick Pope would miss a significant portion of the remaining season due to a shoulder injury, Newcastle has suddenly surfaced as a possible destination for De Gea.

When the January transfer market opens, he will be free to join and may be a smart signing for the Magpies temporarily.

I am an ardent sports enthusiast interested in writing about football, motorsport and athletics.

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