'Top ten players to watch five years ago' - Where are they now?

A former Arsenal player, past and present Wigan Athletic strikers, and a QPR star feature.

A look at ten players who were tipped for success as headed into 2008 and how their careers are currently panning out. Are they hitting or missing?

We ran a similar article to this one based on the career success of players tipped for stardom ten years ago. Whilst most of those players are now seeing their careers winding down it was interesting to see who had been a hit and who unfortunately had been a miss.

Players such as Kaka, Van Der Vaart and Cassano were declared hits while the likes of Aghahowa, D’Allesandro and Mido misses for wasting their abundant talent.

So what about five years ago; those players would now seemingly be into their early-to-mid 20’s with a chance to turn that career into a success or even legend.

The Sun published its list of the top 20 players to look out for as we approached 2008, and with 2013 approaching fast (it’ll be up on us quicker than Dennis Rommedahl) how have the players got on.

Some of the names are familiar and their careers well known so I won’t insult your intelligence by talking about the likes of Gerard Pique, Sergio Aguero, Stevan Jovetic or Theo Walcott.

But here are ten of the names from that list, as we have a look at their career so far, and whether they are currently HITTING or MISSING.

Ever Banega

After struggling at Valencia post Boca Juniors he was linked with a move to Everton that never materialised. Afterwards he had his best season in a Valencia shirt before his luck all changed.

Injuries came including a horrific one occurred when he got run over, by his own car! He forgot to leave the handbrake on resulting in a dangerous rollback.

He crushed his left leg between the curb and the car breaking his left ankle, tibia and fibula as well as sustaining substantial ligament damage. He hasn’t played since MISSING!


The most prolific fall from grace after Breno was signed from Sao Paulo by Bayern Munich in 2007 he was touted as the ‘next Lucio’.

However the troublesome centre-half was involved in various altercations during his time at the club and severe injury problems that saw him spend a season on loan at Nuremberg.

Where is he now? Serving a three and a half year prison sentence in Germany for arson, after he burnt down his own villa; so far a definite failure. MISSING!

Macauley Christantus

He stole the show at the 2007 World Junior championship being the top scorer for Nigeria before signing for Hamburg in a scramble for his signature.

Since then he has not scored a Bundesliga goal and has been sent out on loan to Karlsruher and FSV with mixed success. Now at Las Palmas in Spain. MISSING!

Lorenzo De Silvestri

Tipped for success while at Lazio even named the ‘next Nesta’ and the defender continued his upward trend after signing for Fiorentina; making his international debut in 2010. Since then however he has struggled for first team football and signed for Sampdoria this summer. MISSING!

Franco Di Santo

The next ‘Hernan Crespo’ when Chelsea signed him from Audax Italiano but for a while it looked like he couldn’t hit a cow’s rear end with a banjo. Now with Wigan he is starting to achieve something near his potential, so right now the Argentine is HITTING!

Bojan Krkic

After what was expected of the young man his career has not achieved the zenith of his potential, in fact it is far from it. A loan deal to AC Milan could prove his resurrection. MISSING!


My mate used to bang on about this lad on Football Manager and after being touted as the ‘next Ronaldinho’ you can see why they made him so good on the game. He has spent loan spells at Estoril, Olhanense and last season Bahia. Not what was expected after scoring 15 goals in 10 games for Brazil’s Under-17 side. MISSING!

Ivan Rakitic

The Swiss born Croatian international is a regular at Sevilla and has accumulated 44 caps and 8 goals for his country. A solid career in the offing. HITTING!

Carlos Vela

Good luck to the Mexican this season at Real Sociedad after completing a permanent move to the San Sebastian side from Arsenal. At moment you would have to say he is MISSING but definitely a chance of turning his career around.

Adel Taarabt

After dragging QPR through to promotion big things were expected in the Premier League. That didn’t quite happen. His work rate is still lacking and his attitude could use improvement. Getting splinters on this one JURYS OUT!!!

image: © Danny Ojeda

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