7 stars who joined ‘Big Six’ but never played – including ‘fairytale’ signing

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Players spend their entire footballing career waiting for their ‘dream move’ but sometimes when they are granted their wish, it is anything but that.

It is no secret that playing for the traditional ‘Big Six’ is a tough gig to get. However, when a player is signed for a club, there is somewhat the expectation that they fit into the manager’s plans and will be playing on a regular basis – but that is simply not the case.

Numerous players were granted their much-desired move to teams at the top of the English footballing ladder, yet never even got the pull on the shirt from the club and make their traditional debut. Daily Star Sport takes a look at seven of those players…

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Ben Davies

In the heart of a defensive crisis, Liverpool signed Ben Davies from Preston in a deal worth approximately £500,000. However, he never made an appearance for the club and looks set to sign for Rangers in the coming days having spent last season on loan at Sheffield United.

The 26-year-old was granted his dream move at the time, and manager Jurgen Klopp even spoke about how he would manage the expectation of the move. Asked by the official Liverpool site about the ‘element of a fairytale story about the move’, the manager replied: “That’s very important but the fact that he said yes shows he is confident. That’s exactly what we need. We could have asked and he said, ‘I’d prefer to stay at Preston or go somewhere else where I play 40-odd games per season.’ So this is a challenge but it’s an opportunity – a big, big opportunity.”

Aaron Mooy

Australian midfielder Aaron Mooy is not an unfamiliar face in the Premier League. He was a standout performer for Huddersfield Town when they were promoted in 2017, and also made 31 top-flight performances for Brighton. But never for Manchester City, who he signed for in 2016.

Mooy joined the club from Melbourne City but was sent out on loan to Huddersfield under a week later. The Terriers then made the move permanent just a season later. The 31-year-old is now set to sign for Celtic following a two-year spell at Chinese Super League side Shanghai Port.

Mario Pasalic

Midfielder Mario Pasalic spent six years at Chelsea but never was able to pull on the iconic shirt. He was signed in 2016 from Hajduk Split but work permit issues meant that he spent the rest of his time at the club out on loan.

Elche, Monaco, AC Milan, Spartak Moscow and Atalanta all helped the playmaker develop into a Croatia international. Pasalic remains at Atalanta after the Serie A side exercised the buy option after a season-long loan.

Thorgan Hazard

The Hazard brothers had very different times at Chelsea, obviously. Eden became a hero at the club and earned himself his very own dream move to Real Madrid; whereas Thorgan never even had the opportunity to wear the shirt.

He joined from Lille shortly after Eden signed for the club, before spending two seasons out on loan at Zulte Waregem and then a campaign at Borussia Monchengladbach – who signed him for approximately £6m. He is now impressing at Borussia Dortmund, who he signed for in 2019.

Gokhan Tore

Winger Gokhan Tore was signed to the Chelsea academy as an exciting teenager with hopes of breaking into the first team. However, after playing a single match in pre-season, it was decided that he no longer had a future at the club and was sold to Hamburg.

Clive Allen

Forward Clive Allen made over 100 appearances for Tottenham Hotspur, 53 for Manchester City and even had a brief spell at Chelsea. But he spent a year with Arsenal and did not play a single competitive minute for the club.

He was signed in 1980 from QPR in a deal worth £1.25m but was deemed surplus to requirements after a solitary campaign. The Gunners decided to greenlight a swap deal with Crystal Palace, signing Kenny Sansom in return, who made over 300 appearances for the club.

Danny Drinkwater

Danny Drinkwater’s career has been a rollercoaster of emotions from the outside perspective, and he will certainly feel the same. Currently a free agent, the midfielder was integral in Leicester City’s Premier League title win and earned himself a mega move to Chelsea in 2017, but only ever made 12 appearances for the club.

But that is more than he made for Manchester United, where he came through the academy. He featured on the bench once for the club before being loaned out to numerous Football League outfits.

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