10 Europa League heroes who were once Premier League zeros

Europa League Final

We showcase 10 players who struggled for the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle United but are now doing well in the Europa League.

With some 64 teams competing in the group stages of this season's Europa League, there were always likely to be more than a few familiar faces among the massed ranks and with that in mind, we've put together a collection of 10 players who failed to make the grade in the Premier League but are now thriving in Europe's other cup competition.

Read on to find out more...

Jonathan Blondel

Tottenham fans would be forgiven for forgetting Blondel, who played just twice for Spurs after arriving at the club from Belgian side Royal Excelsior Mouscron in the summer of 2002. The midfielder moved to Club Brugge in January 2004 and has been a mainstay of team ever since.

Carl Medjani

One of the many young French stars purchased by Gerard Houllier at Liverpool, Medjani came highly-rated upon his arrival at Anfield in August 2003 but failed to break into the Reds first team and a series of loans followed. Now at Trabzonspor, having played for Algeria at the World Cup.

David Rozehnal

Newcastle fans may still shudder at the name of the Czech defender, who moved to the Magpies for £2.9 million in June 2007 and went on to make 21 mostly-disastrous appearances. Moves to Serie A and the Bundesliga followed before the 34-year-old rocked up at current club Lille.

Jelle van Damme

A serial offender, Van Damme endured difficult spells with both Southampton and Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League as was part of the Saints team that got relegated in 2005. The defender has been back in Belgium with Standard Liege since 2011.

Alexander Buttner

He may have only just left Manchester United, following 13 largely forgettable games for the Red Devils during a two-year stay, but full-back Buttner remains worthy of inclusion, having hit the ground running in Russia with new club Dynamo Moscow, where he has already played 15 times.

Khalid Boulahrouz

Jose Mourinho must curse the day he ever laid eyes on the Dutchman, who came to Chelsea from Hamburg in the summer of 2006 for £8.5 million and went on to endure 20 error-strewn performances at the club. He can now be found warming the bench at Eredivisie side Feyenoord.

Lars Jacobsen

A Europa League star with multiple Premier League clubs on his CV, the Danish Guingamp defender struggled to make the grade at Everton, Blackburn and West Ham from 2008 to 2011 before returning to FC Copenhagen, where he stayed until moving to his new Ligue 1 side last summer.

Mladen Petric

The Croatia international made a blistering start to life in the Premier League with Fulham in 2011-12 season before going off the boil and leaving after just a year. He resurfaced at West Ham on a short-term deal that brought no goals in just three games and is now at Panathinaikos in Greece.

Ricky van Wolfswinkel

Signed by Norwich in March 2013 for £8.5 million, the Dutchman scored on his Premier League debut for the Canaries but it would prove to be his one and only top-flight strike. The forward is now on loan at St Etienne but unlikely to return to these shores after just one goal in 27 games.

Luuk De Jong

Newcastle recruited the ex- Twente hitman on loan last season from Borussia Monchengladbach, where he had struggled for goals. The drought continued, with De Jong managing no goals in 12 appearances for the Tynesiders. He’s now at PSV Eindhoven, having scored three in his last six.

Have you been surprised to see anyone in the Europa League?

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch