At the beginning of every season, there are players who are cast aside by their coaches because they are deemed excess to requirements.
These players are often sold or loaned out during the transfer window, but they don’t always go away.
This season has seen some of them stave off moves or see transfers away fall through before rising back to prominence with their clubs.
Here, we look at some of these cases.
After being almost forgotten about after two years on loan at Bayern Munich, James Rodriguez seems to have found a new lease of life at Real Madrid.
He’s been in and out of Zinedine Zidane‘s matchday squads, with his quality on the ball forcing the French coach to play him again.
Only injury and his absence to attend the birth of his second child have hampered his progress.
As for Gareth Bale, his relationship with Zidane looked beyond repair during the summer, but, after a move away from the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu failed to materialise, he’s proven to be one of Los Blancos’ most important players this season.
However, another mysterious absence through injury has cut him adrift from the fans once more.
With a strong midfield bolstered further during the summer transfer window, it looked like Arturo Vidal‘s time at Barcelona was up.
Ernesto Valverde, on the other hand, has stuck by him and recognises that he brings something different than his other options in that position.
His ability to arrive in the penalty area for crosses sets him apart from the likes of Frenkie de Jong and Arthur Melo.
The Argentine has always been a favourite of Diego Simeone, but he seemed set for a summer exit to AC Milan.
The move fell through and meant that Atletico Madrid couldn’t sign Rodrigo Moreno, who is still at Mestalla.
Correa has taken advantage of a second chance and has broken back into the starting line-up, assisting important goals.
Valencia brought him to Mestalla from Alaves in January, but mean competition in forward areas has meant that he’s not been given the opportunities he’d have wanted.
However, in the absence of Rodrigo and Kevin Gameiro and with Maxi Gomez struggling for goals against Sevilla, Sobrino scored on Wednesday night to salvage a point.
The forward started pre-season without a future at Sevilla, but now he starts on the left for Julen Lopetegui‘s new-look team.
He’s scored twice so far this season and he’ll surely play more as the campaign goes on.