Leech (noun): an aquatic or terrestrial annelid worm with suckers at both ends. Many species are bloodsucking parasites, especially of vertebrates, and others are predators.
In other words, those nasty scroungers who sit idly on the bench all game and slurp money up like a straw-brandishing child with a bottomless milkshake.
Every club has them and everyone hates them. It’s the old Jack Rodwell syndrome, isn’t it?
The other week, now ex-Sunderland gaffer, Chris Coleman, admitted he didn’t have a clue as to the whereabouts of the £70,000-a-week midfielder; who’s currently sitting pretty on his extortionate wages having not played a first-team minute for the Black Cats since September.
Rodwell’s weekly salary could currently pay two and a half Britons’ full-time wages for an entire year.
Because that’s sickening, wrong, and, more importantly, making us jealous, we despise these leeching bast**ds with a passion.
Let’s take a look at the Prem’s top six offenders to get some spite off our chests. Bloomin’ terrestrial annelid worms. Grr.
Yaya Touré – Manchester City
Hands up, we’re cheating a bit with this first one. But, honest, had the Ivorian chosen to stay at City this summer, we would have stuck him on the list anyway.
There’s absolutely no denying the fella has class and talent in abundant and has, previously, been instrumental in Manchester City’s meteoric rise.
Only these days the big man has been overlooked – perhaps unfairly, perhaps because he’s past it – and still drains an estimated £220,000-a-week from the Citizens.
Splashing all that cash on a man who’s played a mere 230 minutes of Premier League football this season might just explain City’s reluctance to spend big on a cake…
Daley Blind – Manchester United
Daley Blind may showcase a fine specimen of luscious long locks, but, sorry, he’s another one of those leechin’ sods.
The Dutchman has been sneakily running off with £75,000-a-week this season and has only managed a measly 284 Premier League minutes to pay it back.
He’s hardly featured for United in this year’s challenge, being favoured for more competent, fairly watertight members of the Red Devils’ backline and the ever-present Nemanja Matić in midfield.
A flowing barnet won’t get you everywhere in life, Daley.
Reserve Goalkeepers – Tottenham Hotspur
This one was a seriously close call with Spurs’ three back-up ‘keepers just pipping the fraudulent Fernando Llorente to the post.
Between them, Michel Vorm, Paulo Gazzaniga, and Alfie Whiteman have accumulated two games worth of match time this Premier League season. With Hugo Lloris being an indomitable permanence in the Lilywhites’ goal, the number two, three and four have simply not had a sniff at first team football.
We all know Daniel Levy is a pretty tight bloke, so what’s this all about?
Danny Ings – Liverpool
Let’s face it, Ings hasn’t got a chance of breaking into the Liverpool team with even a semblance of regularity and the lad is only 25.
Get out, Dan. We’re sure the Reds aren’t too keen on keeping the fella at Anfield, either, given that he’s reportedly setting them back £60,000 weekly.
With ‘Pool fielding one of the best attacking units in Europe this season, the former Burnley star is being left floundering as he attempts to fit into a top six side.
This summer will likely see Jürgen Klopp add to his already impressive fire power and the reddies being burnt on Ings’ contract could go a long way to securing a big name.
Ross Barkley – Chelsea
The young, basically pre-pubescent, 25-year-old Ross Barkley hasn’t had a great run of luck this year.
Having been plagued by injury on and off throughout the season, Barkley’s move to Chelsea undoubtedly raised eyebrows.
The fella has only managed 53 minutes of Premier League football for the Blues this season (in just one match, though admittedly having signed in January) and is currently struggling to return from a recurrent hamstring problem.
Whether he can make it at this level when fully fit or not is debatable and the car-crash season he’s suffered from makes a £90,000-a-week wage seem like something Chelsea can no longer warrant.
Arsenal – Arsenal
Completely unjustifiable. Last year, Wenger’s men were paid almost £200,000,000 in total.
That figure will have been similarly eye-watering this season and has only secured a meagre, very adrift sixth-place finish.
Not good enough. Sack ‘em all*.
*We’re fishing, Gooners, before that pulsating vein in your forehead erupts over your battered keyboards.