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08th May 2017

Charlie Taylor refused to play for his club at the weekend, but he’s definitely not the first

A fair few have gone rogue...

Darragh Culhane

Leeds United are destined to play another season in the Championship after a final day 1-1 draw at Wigan.

It was all going so well for the Yorkshire club a couple of months ago as they looked to be near guaranteed a place in the play-offs, with many thinking they would have enough to make it to the Premier League.

One win in their last eight games meant United would finish in an agonising seventh place, just one spot off making the play-offs.

Finishing the season with a 1-1 draw against Wigan exemplified their season, one of ultimate frustration.

Yet, fans are still positive about the future,with fan favourite Pontus Jansson set to move permanently from Torino for £3.5m in the summer as well as murmurs that other loanees may move permanently to Elland Road.

However, one player that won’t be at the club next season is Charlie Taylor.

Taylor rose through the ranks from the Leeds academy to the senior team and made his senior debut in 2011, and with Premier League clubs interested in the talented 23-year-old he opted not to extend his contract, which expires this summer.

And on the closing day of the season, Taylor was nowhere to be seen.

Speaking to BBC Radio Leeds, Monk revealed how Taylor refused to play for the club on the final day of the season.

 “I’m hugely disappointed with Charlie. I think he’s been terribly advised all season and has refused to play the game. As a manager, you can’t have that. It’s a shame, as he’s a great lad, a fantastic lad. Hopefully, he’ll learn from the mistake he’s made.”

And Taylor isn’t the first player to refuse to play for his club, and definitely the most high profile.

Here are five footballers who opted not to line out for their side.

Dimitri Payet

The most recent of the lot, West Ham manager Slaven Bilič revealed in a press conference in January that star player Dimitri Payet was refusing to play for the club.

Payet later forced a move to Marseille and gave the desire not to regress as a player as the reasoning for his refusal to play for the club.

Raheem Sterling 

In the summer of 2015, Raheem Sterling bagged a £49m move from Liverpool to Manchester City.

Sterling made it explicitly clear that he did not want to stay in Merseyside, rejecting a £100,000 a week contract extension.

Instead, he asked to stay in England as his teammates travelled to East Asia for a pre-season tour.

Carlos Tevez 

In 2011, Carlos Tevez went AWOL from Manchester City.

After refusing to come on as a substitute against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, Tevez fell out with Manchester City management, which eventually led the Argentine taking ungranted leave and returning home to Argentina.

After a few months of solid thinking time in Buenos Aires, Tevez decided to return to the club in February 2012 and issued a statement apologising for his actions.

“I wish to apologise sincerely and unreservedly to everybody I have let down and to whom my actions over the last few months have caused offence. My wish is to concentrate on playing football for Manchester City.”

Tevez was fined £1.2m upon returning to the club and ended up winning the league that season and played up until 2013 when he then moved to Juventus.

Dimitar Berbatov

Remember that exciting deadline day where Robinho moved to Manchester City and Dimitar Berbatov moved to Manchester United?

Although Robinho’s move came out of the blue (pun intended), Berbatov’s didn’t.

The Bulgarian had long-term aspirations to play for Manchester United and, according to Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy, he refused to play for the club in order to force a move to Old Trafford.

“We had a player in Berbatov who had refused to play two games for us, having a detrimental affect on the dressing-room.

“We’d known for a year that the player wanted out of this club

“I had so many conversations with him. He kept saying it was about his ambition to play for Manchester United. It wasn’t a money issue. We offered him a new contract and he wasn’t even interested in discussing it.”

Pierre van Hooijdonk

On the back of being Nottingham Forest’s top scorer as they gained promotion to the Premier League, Pierre van Hooijdonk announced that he wanted to leave the club.

Forest had already sold striker Kevin Campbell and club captain Colin Cooper and van Hooijdonk had been promised he would be let leave the club that summer.

However, van Hooijdonk was told he would not be sold he went on strike.

Refusing to play for Nottingham Forest from the start of the season, the feud eventually ended in November when van Hooijdonk agreed to return to the side.

His return didn’t go down well with teammates as they refused to celebrate with him when he scored against Derby and left the club at the end of the 1998/99 season to move to Vitesse Arnhem.

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