David de Gea, Jordan Henderson and more Premier League stars who have turned their careers around

Some footballers have looked dead and buried before going on to star in the Premier League.

And Gareth Bale is a shining example of that.

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Gareth Bale struggled in the early stages of his Tottenham career
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After joining Tottenham for £7million from Southampton as a left-back in 2007, Bale failed to register a win in his first 24 appearances for his new club.

However, he went from zero to hero when he was converted to a winger by Harry Redknapp.

Bale scored 26 goals in the 2012/13 campaign which earned him a then world record £85m move to Real Madrid.

Below, talkSPORT.com lists the Premier League’s current players who have undergone remarkable turnarounds to rescue their careers in England.

Jordan Henderson (Liverpool)

After coming through the ranks and impressing at Sunderland, Liverpool forked out £16m to bring Henderson to Anfield in 2011.

He struggled in his debut season with the Reds, largely down to being played out of position on the right wing.

Brendan Rodgers replaced Kenny Dalglish as Liverpool boss in the summer of 2012 and almost got rid of Henderson!

The England midfielder was offered in a swap deal with Fulham star Clint Dempsey, but fortunately for Liverpool, the move never materialised.

Speaking about the proposed transfer, Henderson said: “When the manager told me I could go to Fulham it was a bit of a shock at first.

“What he said came as a sort of bolt from the blue. I think the Dempsey situation had stalled, but it wasn’t really of interest to me.

“I worked really had to come to a club like Liverpool and I didn’t want to leave in a hurry. I want to stay at Liverpool for as long as I can.”

Henderson has gone on to establish himself as one of Liverpool’s most important players and captained his side to a sixth European Cup last season.

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Jordan Henderson is closing in on 10 years at Liverpool
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Jorginho (Chelsea)

Bought for £57m in the summer of 2018, Jorginho was then Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri’s main man.

When things were going well, Jorginho would start and when things were going badly, Jorginho would start.

He was undroppable in the defensive midfield position, which resulted in N’Golo Kante playing higher up on the pitch.

Chelsea fans even booed Jorginho in a Europa League game in February 2019.

However, he has been given a new lease of life under Frank Lampard, who appointed him vice captain earlier this season.

Jorginho said: “Last year, fans were picking on me a lot because I’d arrived with another manager and, in my opinion, I ended up hearing some things that were honestly unfair.

“But I’ve never challenged the views of the fans and other people who criticised me. Quite the opposite, actually – it gave me strength because inside I knew they were wrong.

“Deep in my mind, it was like this, ‘I’m going to prove they’re wrong and work quietly like I’ve always done, because it’s never been easy for me.’”

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Jorginho is a crucial part of Chelsea’s midfield
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David de Gea (Manchester United)

De Gea arrived in an £18.9m deal from Atletico Madrid in 2011 and had big boots to fill following Edwin van der Sar’s retirement.

But the Spain goalkeeper took time to adjust to the physicality of the Premier League, making errors in the early stages of his career in England.

At times during his first two seasons at Old Trafford, De Gea was even dropped for Anders Lindegaard!

But that tough love from Sir Alex Ferguson served De Gea well moving forward.

He is regarded as one of the world’s best goalkeepers with one Premier League Golden Glove and three Manchester United Player of the Year awards to his name.

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David de Gea could have folded under the pressure at Manchester United
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Ashley Westwood (Burnley)

Westwood went from League Two to the Premier League in the space of just one season when Aston Villa signed him from Crewe in 2012.

In his four-and-a-half years at Villa Park, he was part of the woeful team that suffered relegation to the Championship in the 2015/16 campaign.

Despite an exodus of players leaving, Westwood remained with Villa for the first half of the 2016/17 season, before being given a Premier League lifeline with Burnley in the January transfer window.

Since moving to Turf Moor, Westwood has been a regular fixture in Sean Dyche’s midfield and was named Burnley’s Player of the Year, voted by supporters, AND the Players’ Player of the Year last season.

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Ashley Westwood is an ever-present in Sean Dyche’s midfield
Rex Features

Divock Origi (Liverpool)

Origi was used quite frequently by Jurgen Klopp in his first two seasons at Liverpool after arriving in 2015.

However, following the signing of Mohamed Salah in 2017, he was shipped out on loan to Bundesliga club Wolfsburg.

He scored just six league goals in Germany, while Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino terrorised Premier League defenders.

Liverpool tried to offload Origi on a permanent deal in the summer of 2018, but he remained at the club.

After waiting until November to make his first appearance of the 2018/19 season, Origi became a cult hero at Liverpool by scoring the winning goal in a Merseyside derby and netting twice against Barcelona in the Reds’ stunning comeback win in the Champions League semi-finals.

And to top it all off, the Belgium striker came off the bench to score his side’s second goal in a 2-0 win over Tottenham in the final.

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Divock Origi scored three minutes from time to seal a 2-0 win over Tottenham
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Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)

Zaha was Sir Alex Ferguson’s last ever signing when he joined Manchester United for £15m from Crystal Palace in January 2013.

The 27-year-old was immediately loaned back to Palace as part of the deal and helped them win promotion to the Premier League via the Championship play-offs.

He never played under Ferguson, who retired from management at the end of that season.

Zaha made just three competitive appearances for United, before being loaned to Cardiff in the 2014 January transfer window.

Another loan spell followed, this time at Palace, and he would eventually rejoin the club on a permanent basis in 2015.

Since then, Zaha has rediscovered his brilliance and he’s now regarded as one of the best players in the Premier League outside of the top six.

Arsenal and Everton were heavily linked with the Ivory Coast winger last summer, and it remains to be seen how much longer Palace can keep hold of their star man.

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Wilfried Zaha is valued at £80m by Crystal Palace chiefs
Getty Images – Getty

Luke Shaw (Manchester United)

Manchester United signed Shaw in a £27m deal from Southampton in 2014, making him the world’s most expensive teenager at the time.

A double fracture of his right leg in a Champions League match against PSV Eindhoven in September 2015 put his career at risk.

After returning to fitness under United boss Jose Mourinho in the 2016/17 season, Shaw failed to nail down a regular starting place.

To make matters worse, he also faced stinging criticism from Mourinho, who once questioned his commitment, focus and ambition.

However, Shaw appeared to win Mourinho over in the end when he signed a new five-year contract in October 2018.

Under current United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Shaw has been a consistent fixture in the starting XI, playing as a left-back or central defender in a back-three.

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Luke Shaw has rediscovered his form in recent seasons
Getty Images – Getty

Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace)

Ayew suffered two disastrous Premier League relegations with Aston Villa and Swansea before joining Crystal Palace on a season-long loan in 2018.

Despite scoring just twice, it was enough for Palace to sign him permanently for £2.5m from Swansea the following year.

And that fee seems even more of a bargain with Ayew’s eight Premier League strikes so far this season, including a Goal of the Season contender against West Ham.

Ayew’s goals have been invaluable to Palace, who are 11th in the Premier League table.

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Jordan Ayew has been in terrific form for Crystal Palace this season
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