Monday 24 June 2019

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu…

The Premier League is set to lose some famous faces from around the world.

Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger

By Ed Elliot, Press Association Sport

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger tops a list of high-profile people who seem destined to bid farewell to the Premier League following the final weekend of the season.

The Frenchman will leave the Emirates Stadium having been in charge of the Gunners since September 1996.

Here, Press Association Sport highlights some famous names who look likely to say goodbye to England’s top flight on Sunday.

Arsene Wenger (Arsenal)

A trip to Huddersfield will mark the 828th – and final – game of the Premier League’s longest-serving manager. After 22 years and three title successes with Arsenal – including the unbeaten season of 2004 – the Frenchman will finally depart. Gunners fans bid an emotional farewell to the 68-year-old last weekend during his last game in north London.

Leicester City v Arsenal – Premier League – King Power Stadium

Yaya Toure (Manchester City)

Toure may be leaving City after eight successful years but he has no intention of retiring and hopes to continue playing in England’s top flight. He captained Pep Guardiola’s team on his final Etihad Stadium appearance on Wednesday before a heartfelt send-off from supporters. The 34-year-old Ivorian has registered 78 goals in 314 Premier League games, winning three titles.

Manchester City v Brighton and Hove Albion – Premier League – Etihad Stadium

Michael Carrick (Manchester United)

Winner of five Premier League medals and the Champions League, 36-year-old midfielder Carrick will retire from football at the end of the campaign. The former West Ham and Tottenham man has spent 18 seasons playing in the top flight and is set to make his 481st Premier League appearance when United host Watford on Sunday at Old Trafford.

Manchester United Training Session and Press Conference

Carlos Carvalhal (Swansea)

Carvalhal was initially a breath of fresh air when he was appointed by the rock bottom Swans in late December. However, an eight-game winless run has left the club on the brink of relegation with their only hope of survival an improbable goal difference swing. The departure of the affable Portuguese, whose contract is set to expire, was announced on Thursday and it appears unlikely he will be back in the Premier League anytime soon.

Swansea City v Southampton – Premier League – Liberty Stadium

Per Mertesacker (Arsenal)

Wenger’s Emirates Stadium send-off was almost trumped by World Cup winner Mertesacker. Introduced as a second-half substitute against Burnley on Sunday, the 33-year-old former Germany international was given a rapturous reception. After seven seasons with the Gunners, he is set to become head of the club’s academy.

Arsenal v Burnley – Premier League – Emirates Stadium

John Motson (Broadcaster)

Veteran commentator ‘Motty’ has been described as the voice of football due to a broadcasting career spanning more than 50 years. He became a Match of the Day regular in the early 1970s and his sounds have become synonymous with the Premier League since its inception in 1992. He will finally put down his BBC microphone after reporting on Sunday’s clash between crystal Palace and West Brom.

Chelsea v Stoke City – Premier League – Stamford Bridge

Peter Crouch (Stoke)

Stoke’s relegation could mean the former England striker has played his final season in the Premier League. He has another year remaining on his Potters contract but admitted he signed the extension thinking they would avoid the drop. Whether another top flight club takes a punt on the much-travelled 37-year-old, who has scored 107 goals in 461 top flight appearances, remains to be seen.

Stoke City v Crystal Palace – Premier League – bet365 Stadium

Gareth Barry (West Brom)

Barry is the Premier League’s record appearance maker but he may not have the opportunity to add to his 653 outings. With the Baggies heading for the Championship, the 37-year-old triggered a one-year extension to his contract last month. Former club Aston Villa are reportedly willing to offer Barry a way out of The Hawthorns, should they be promoted via the play-offs, but his top flight future is unclear.

West Bromwich Albion v Everton – Premier League – The Hawthorns

Leon Britton (Swansea)

Barring a final-day miracle, the Swans will be relegated – which should spell the end of Britton’s Premier League career. The future of the 35-year-old, who has been a peripheral figure for the Welsh club during the past two seasons, remains uncertain. His contract is set to expire at the end of the season and he has previously said he would like to finish his career at the Liberty Stadium.

Soccer – Capital One Cup – Final – Bradford City v Swansea City – Wembley Stadium

Scott Arfield and Dean Marney (Burnley)

They may not be the most glamorous names on the list but long-serving midfield duo Arfield and Marney have given a combined 13 years’ service to the Clarets. Their Turf Moor departures were confirmed by Sean Dyche last month. Scotland-born Arfield has held talks with Rangers, while former Tottenham and Hull man Marney has been in discussions with Championship Nottingham Forest.

Manchester United v Burnley – Premier League – Old Trafford

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