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The Ultimate Substitutes Bench Dream Team

Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, West Ham, Arsenal, and Fulham players feature in our best of the rest XI.

Summer signings yet to find their feet, players returning from injury, out-of-form talent and those purely there for matchday experience, how would a team of current Premier League bench-warmers line up against the likes of those playing regular first-team football? With so many players to choose from no doubt you may have different ideas, so leave your suggestions below.

Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris (TOT) – Whilst Brad Friedel may be Tottenham’s first choice Premier League goalkeeper for some time still, new signing Lloris can expect a string of appearances during domestic and European cup matches this season in which he will have ample time to make a case for Spurs’ No. 1 jersey and replicate the form he showed at Lyon and France last season.

Left Back: Alexander Kolarov (MCI) – One of Manchester City’s set-piece specialists, Kolarov is more than capable of stifling opponent attacks on the wing. Unafraid to attack himself, he’s also managed to get on the score sheet twice in five games this season. What with Manchester City’s ever-increasing squad however, Kolarov can fall victim to a rotation system and can’t ever be assured of a starting place in Roberto Mancini’s matchday line-ups.

Centre Back: Steven Caulker (TOT) – A strong candidate to replace the internationally-retired John Terry as an England centre-back, the Tottenham man has made several impressive starts this season for the North London club, and has transformed from a back-up squad player to one fighting with Younes Kaboul, William Gallas and Jan Vertonghen for a place in Andre Villas-Boas’ starting XI.

Centre Back: Jamie Carragher (LIV) - The Liverpool and England centre-half is something of a veteran for his club. At 34-years-old, Carragher can no long be relied upon to complete every game however, and alongside Martin Skrtel, Sebastian Coates and Daniel Agger he is part of a regularly changing back-line. Like John Terry to Chelsea, Carragher can control defences with ease and stamp his authority down effortlessly.

Right Back: Cezar Azpilicueta (CHE) – At just 23, Spaniard Cezar Azpilicueta has already experienced top-flight football for Osasuna, Marseille and now Chelsea. Having represented Spain in two Under-21 European Championships, winning one, Azpilicueta could be a fantastic addition to a striving Chelsea squad.

Left Midfield: Ryan Bertrand (CHE) – Beginning life at Chelsea as a left-back, Bertrand soon found it hard to usurp control over the experienced Ashley Cole, and has instead often been drafted in by Roberto Di Matteo as a makeshift left winger. Accomplished in both positions, Bertrand can dominate the left wing, and with plenty of experience coming his way he can be deadly for England, too.

Midfield: Matt Jarvis (WHU) – Smashing West Ham United’s previous transfer fee record, Matt Jarvis’ arrival at Upton Park is already proving good investment. Whilst finding his feet at the club, Jarvis is West Ham’s trump card, and has the ability to be a real game-changer. Most recently, his second-half appearance against Sunderland transformed a sluggish West Ham side before the break into a dynamic force, and his cameo role was one key reason to this change. Having only played one international game, the Englishman will no doubt look to improve this tally over time.

Attacking Midfield: Suso (LIV) – Suso is a rising star at Merseyside, and following an impressive Europa League performance last week he then featured for Liverpool in a tightly-contested Premier League match against rivals Manchester United. Suso is definitely one for the near-future and can easily cut it in Premier League company with a touch more experience under his belt.

Right Midfield: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (ARS) – Living up to his name as Theo Walcott’s successor, Oxlade-Chamberlain was a shrewd investment by Arsene Wenger, signing from Southampton just moments before finding his form. With each passing game, the Ox is steadily improving and aged just 19, has a long and promising career ahead of him for both Arsenal and for England.

Striker: Mladen Petric (FUL) – With over 300 appearances during his time playing in Switzerland and Germany, Croatian international Mladen Petric could prove great business for Fulham after being picked up on a free transfer from Wolfsburg this summer. In Fulham’s five Premier League games this season, Petric has yet to be rewarded with significant game time and will be looking to change this. With two goals and an assist in Fulham’s first game of the season against Norwich, it is curious why the Croat hasn’t been given more time for his new club just yet.

Striker: Olivier Giroud (ARS) – With Lukas Podolski leading Arsenal’s line and Santi Cazorla proving dynamic in support, Giroud is already falling victim to a squad rotation system at Arsenal. The French hitman should take little time reclaiming the form he showed at Montpellier however, and could just be a whisker away from being a fan favourite for Arsenal after scoring his first goal for the club mid-week.

Bench-warmers bench:

GK: Brad Jones (LIV) – Played for Liverpool as recently as the opening round of Europa League fixtures, but won’t be happy after conceding three goals against Young Boys. However, the former Middlesborough man is more than willing to step in when first choice goalkeeper Pepe Reina isn’t selected.

Defender: Sylvain Distin (EVE) – The experienced Everton man is lacking game time as of late, with David Moyes favouring Phil Jagielka and John Heitinga at the heart of a defence that has so far conceded just five league goals. Distin featured in Everton’s 2-1 defeat to Leeds mid-week, but now finds his Premier League game-time severely cut. An accomplished centre-back, he would be useful defensive cover for many current Premier League teams.

Defender: Alexander Buttner (MNU) – Patrice Evra had every right to feel concerned after Alexander Buttner’s fantastic Manchester United debut. The Dutchman picked up a Man of the Match performance for his work as a right-back, picking up a goal and an assist during United’s dominant 4-0 victory over Wigan two weeks ago. Carry on in the same way, and Evra will have even more reason for concern.

Midfield: Ryo Miyaichi (WIG) – After being signed by Arsene Wenger in 2011 following an impressive trial, the Japanese winger is now on loan at Wigan and it shouldn’t be long until the explosive midfielder can become a key player for Roberto Martinez. If Fifa 12 is anything to go by, he’s also the fastest professional midfielder in football.

Striker: Jay Rodriguez (SOU) – Southampton’s £7 million man may have failed to find the net thus far in the Premier League, but a brace against Sheffield Wednesday in the Capital One Cup this week proves his first top-flight goal isn’t far away. Rodriguez was Burnley’s top goal scorer in the last two consecutive seasons, and his 21 goals last campaign was no small contribution in securing a place in the PFA Championship Team of the Year.

Who would make your Subs Bench Dream Team?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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