The closing of a transfer window will bring mixed emotions depending on who you support and how the transfer window has gone.
If you’ve secured all your targets and know your rivals have messed up then it’s ideal, while it can also bring relief to some fans who feared losing a star player.
From the player’s point of view it’s generally a good thing and it allows you to focus on the season ahead, but it can be a total disaster for those who are out of favour.
Guys like Declan Rice and Houssem Aouar may have wanted a move but they’re still in a great situation with their current clubs, but others know a period in the stands is the best they can hope for.
Those who only care about money will point out they are well paid and that’s true, but it has to be soul crushing from a competitive point of view.
Here’s a look at a few players who have been left if no man’s land with the closing of the window:
Mesut Ozil – Arsenal
It was never really clear if Ozil had serious offers to leave and perhaps he had to take a big financial hit to make anything happen, but his current situation is far from ideal.
He’s in his final years and it’s possible that the game has passed him by in some ways, as no major club is going to build things around him anymore.
His wages mean that his options will be extremely limited, and it’s hard to see where he can actually go from here.
China is a no-go after he’s been outspoken about their treatment of Uighur Muslims in the country and any European side who can afford him probably don’t need him.
MLS looks like his best option and their transfer window is still open, but there’s little sign of anything being close for now.
Arsenal left him out of their Europa League squad and he’ll probably miss out on the Premier League registration too, so his final years look set to drift away from him.
Marcos Rojo – Man United
Rojo isn’t a bad player but his biggest issue is that he doesn’t really fit into most formations.
He’s not dominant enough to be a centre back in a back four while he lacks the ball skills and pace to be an attacking full back, so he’s really a serviceable back up who won’t let you down at best.
His ideal situation is the left centre back in a back three but Man United rarely employ that option, and he’s miles down the pecking order too.
Rojo has been left out of the Champions League squad and the arrival of Alex Telles has pushed him down to fourth choice at left back, so he desperately needs to leave.
Xherdan Shaqiri – Liverpool
It’s easy to get caught up in still believing that Shaqiri is a younger prospect who will still break through, but he’s just turned 29 and needs to move if he wants to play in his final prime years.
The arrival of Diogo Jota pushed him further down the pecking order while Thiago Alcantara’s presence rules out any slight hopes of moving back into midfield to provide a creative presence.
He might play in the less important cup games but that’s a waste of his talent just now, and he will need to force an exit in January to help his international career too.
Samuel Umtiti – Barcelona
On paper Umtiti does look like a perfect squad player for Barca who can fill in at centre back or on the left, but he’s massively out of favour and his attitude isn’t helping him either.
There were suggestions that he misled the club after a positive Covid-19 test which involved missing some training and Ronald Koeman urgently wanted him to go.
It even looked like Barca might just let him go for free at one point, but there was just no viable interest and he’s stuck in Spain.
He’s another example of a player whose career is starting to slide away from him as he turns 27 next month, so he needs to find a way out soon.
Clearly Barca will be happy to let him leave, but finding a top level club who want him could be the problem, so a return to France looks like his best bet.
Sami Khedira – Juventus
Khedira has largely been underrated in his career and it’s possible that injuries have taken their toll and left him a reputation for being unreliable.
He’s 33 now so the World Cup Winner isn’t going to be charging around the field like he used to, but any team that needs a wise head in their midfield should still be looking at him.
Juventus want him to go and he’s been left out of their Champions League squad so it’s obvious that Pirlo has no place for him, but attempts to terminate his deal haven’t been successful.
Again that’s likely to be the result of no interest in his signature, but he could still offer another season and a half at the top level if he can stay fit.
It’s often said that it’s easy to gain a reputation but almost impossible to shake it, so it’s impossible to see a situation where Kepa manages to salvage his career at Chelsea.
Frank Lampard has hung him out to dry and his form has been awful, while you could see the defence were refusing to trust him last season either.
There may be chances for him here and there in the cups but the problem is that nothing he does will erase the memories from what’s happened before, so he needs to leave.
He’s going to be stuck behind Edouard Mendy after his arrival and the former Rennes keeper will need to really push the boat out to lose his spot, so Kepa is in an awful position.
He needs to move somewhere that’s not in England where he can quietly rebuild his career and his confidence, but it’s hard to see any big club who will touch him at this point.