Vincent Kompany’s injury ravaged last couple of seasons have left Manchester City fans wondering what could have been. The Belgian centre-back was once considered the Premier League’s best defender, but a series of knocks have put his career at the Etihad on life support.
The good news is that build-from-the back Pep Guardiola is nothing if not patient, with the club captain – don’t tell Joe Hart – and although Kompany has missed a fair share of matches, it’s still a little too early to call his career a write-off. This is especially the case with John Stones struggling to eradicate glaring mistakes from his game.
The same cannot be said of these seven players, who sadly had to call quits…
Everyone's favourite BT Sport pundit enjoyed a top start to his career, lifting the Champions League in 2001 with Bayern before establishing himself as a regular in Sven's England team. The dream move to Manchester United in 2007 turned into a nightmare, when he was struck down by a chronic knee injury
Thierry Henry once said that Tottenham centre-back, King, was the only man who could tackle him without having to resort to foul play - that's pretty high praise from the Premier League's greatest. King's career would have hit even greater heights were it not for a dodgy pair of knees.
Source: Euro Sport
Essien was one of Jose Mourinho's most trusted lieutenants during his time at Chelsea - and even managed a half-decent season under the Portuguese at Real Madrid. As a whole, though, the Ghanaian's career is a little disappointing when you consider how truly talented he was at his peak, and much of that can be attributed to ill-timed injuries.
It's easy to laugh when players are given tags like "The New Patrick Vieira" and then they struggle to live up to the hype - but Diaby genuinely was a deadringer for the former Arsenal captain. But, the Frenchman could never stay fit for more than a few games at a time.
Source: Sports Keeda
Ruben de la Red
Spain's Ruben de La Red had just returned to his boyhood team Real Madrid when his career was cut short by a heart condition of all things. De la Red was a stylish playmaker who brought both panache and presence to any game in which he played - and he's now embarking on a promising coaching career back at Getafe.
Dean Ashton arrived at the big time via a steady climb up England's tumultuous lower leagues - but it was a heavy training ground challenge from international teammate Shaun Wright-Phillips that spelt the beginning of the end for his career. The West Ham striker announced his retirement from the game aged just 26.
Source: Daily Star
Australian football hasn't had a great deal to shout about over the years, but in Harry Kewell they found a genuinely world-class talent who wouldn't have looked out of place at one of Europe's top teams. Unfortunately, a series of injuries meant his career highlight was a walk-on role in Liverpool's 2005 Champions League triumph.
It’s a real shame these lads couldn’t showcase their talent for a prolonged career. They should have just done a ‘Joe Cole’, and gone and played in America for a side which makes my Sunday League team look like the next La Liga winners.