It’s not often in life that anyone feels sorry for football agents, but in the wake of the 2014 World Cup there will be at least five that are worthy of a modicum of your sympathy.
They are the men who do the representation for our list of five players whose contribution to the tournament has been cruelly overlooked by just about every club on the planet if the mischievous mice of the rumour proliferation department are to be believed.
Tim Howard, United States of America and Everton
If news.bwin.com/en/ can say with some degree that a player’s World Cup showings could easily preface a successful campaign to become the governor of New Jersey then surely someone should want to throw him a Champions League-shaped bone?
Kenneth Omeruo, Nigeria and Chelsea
Laying down several assured international performances at centre-half at just 20 years old should surely warrant some interest, especially given the Super Eagles starlet has several players between him and a place on the Blues bench.
Yet he’s been reduced to throwing himself at former loan club Middlesbrough, telling the Evening Gazette, “I would like to return to ‘Boro on loan but it’s not in my hands.”
Raheem Sterling, England and Liverpool
The Fenway Sports boys could have been forgiven for battening down the Anfield hatches and barricading the turnstiles with sundry Rafael Benitez transfer misfires after his brilliant showing against Italy, yet the wolves have been conspicuously absent from the door.
Asamoah Gyan, Ghana and Al Ain
Why on earth not one club is interested in the putting the Black Stars maestro back in the European spotlight after another excellent tournament is beyond us.
Still only 28, bare numbers of two goals and one assist in three games do little to illustrate just how much creative guile he provided manager Kwesi Appiah.
Abel Aguilar, Colombia and Toulouse
Very much the ‘Sporty Spice’ of the Colombian girl-group, the Ligue 1 operative held the fort with aplomb while his more flashy colleagues careered forward, yet also managed to assist two strikes and bag one more himself.