There’s nothing better than seeing your club’s star player pen a new contract which they have thoroughly deserved. The club is happy, the player is happy and the fans are happy. Everyone’s a winner.
However, mixed in with all the good extensions are a handful of thoroughly undeserving contracts for players who have offered next to nothing on the pitch. The only thing that comes from these new deals is relentless jokes online. Nobody’s a winner.
Here are seven players who bagged themselves a new deal for almost no good reason.
Sometimes, an expiring contract gives clubs the chance to walk away from a mistake and start over. Crystal Palace had that with Christian Benteke, who has scored a grand total of four goals in his last 58 appearances.
For some reason, Palace decided to extend his contract. Why? Do they enjoy watching him suffer? Do they like seeing fans in tears?
The Eagles surely will not remain committed to him for much longer, yet they are seemingly happy to pretend like they are.
Palace actually love doing this. Benteke is certainly not the first striker to earn an undeserved extension at Selhurst Park. Connor Wickham was doing it before it was cool.
Injuries have ruined Wickham’s time at Palace, but it’s not like he has been scoring many goals even when fit. His last Premier League goal came in November 2016, but that was enough to earn him a new deal in May 2019.
He now gets to spend even longer out of the matchday squad, watching Benteke fail to score as well.
The poster boy for the bizarre contract extension, Richard Wright etched his name into football infamy after agreeing his move to Manchester City in 2012.
The reserve goalkeeper didn’t play a single first-team game for the Citizens, but earned himself three one-year extensions at the end of every season. He was an unused substitute eight times across his four years at the club, but continued to earn himself contract after contract.
Admittedly, it was his job to be behind others in the pecking order, but to get three new deals seems a little far.
Wright’s extensions may have been fairly reasonable, but Eliaquim Mangala’s new deal in March 2019 certainly wasn’t.
The Frenchman had spent the 2017/18 season on the bench, then got injured and then sat out the entirety of the 2018/19 campaign. He clearly wasn’t in the club’s plans, but they still decided to prolong his stay.
It’s not like they had any long-term reason for doing so. City let him walk away for free just five months later anyway, so there really was no point in any of it.
Chelsea’s reasons for handing out new contracts are purely financial, but that doesn’t make them any less ridiculous.
The Brazilian has made three appearances for Chelsea across his eight years at the club, and he hasn’t even impressed out on loan since the 2013/14 campaign. However, since then, Piazón has signed several new contracts, the latest of which actually came during the summer.
He doesn’t play. He’s not good enough. He hasn’t been close to good enough in five years. Nobody actually wants to buy him. Just let him go.
Brought to Southampton in 2016 as a reserve goalkeeper, Stuart Taylor wasn’t asked to do much at the club. A lot of third-choice shot stoppers get new contracts, there’s nothing bizarre there.
Needless to say, after another season in the reserves, Taylor was let go in 2018.
Jesse Lingard is an attacking midfielder. Attacking midfielders are expected to both score and assist goals. Jesse Lingard neither scores nor assists goals.
So, when he was handed a huge new contract in April 2017 on the back of netting five goals across two seasons, Manchester United fans were a little confused. After all, it’s not like United to hand out huge contract extensions to underperforming players, is it?
Oh. Yes. Yes, it is.
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