For some of these players, you’d maybe say that their successful careers were written in the stars, but with their position changes, it’s evident that it wasn’t.
These players spent a few seasons unsure of what their football future held for them, but after one simple change, their careers took off. The Fan Park Crew looks at five top players whose position changes made them the stars they are today.
Thierry Henry – From Left-Wing To Striker
At Juventus, Carlo Ancelotti believed that the Frenchman was more effective as a winger than as striker, and sometimes, the Italian boss opted to play Henry at left-wing back. Luckily for Henry, Arsene Wenger snapped him up for £11 million, and saw him more as a forward – we all know what happened next. Henry went on to score 226 goals for the Gunners, with 174 of those coming in the Premier League.
Gareth Bale – Left-Back To Left-Wing
The Welshman came through the ranks at Southampton as a left-back, and due to sub-standard performances, he was dropped for Benoit Assou-Ekotto, but after Bale was moved to the left-wing role, it wasn’t long before Real Madrid came knocking.
Bastian Schweinsteiger – Winger To Centre-Midfielder
The German international was one of Bayern Munich’s most exciting prospects when he came through their ranks, but failed to cement a spot in the team as a winger, as he lacked pace – an important requirement for a wide midfielder. Since his change, Schweinsteiger has been one of the world’s best central midfielders, captaining his country in that position, and playing a central role for the Bavarians.
Vincent Kompany – Centre-Midfielder To Centre-Back
The Belgian was one of Europe’s most exciting prospects in midfield, where he played for clubs like Anderlecht and Hamburg, but after his arrival at Manchester City in 2008, Kompany is widely regarded as one of the best defenders in the league. Kompany’s former role in midfield helped him become a great ball-playing centre-back, as his first touch and technique doesn’t look typical to that of an old-school defender.
Branislav Ivanovic – Centre-Back To Right-Back
The Serbian failed to make a single first team appearance at Chelsea in his first season at the club as centre-back, and only played 16 games in his second, but today as a right-back, Ivanovic has gone on to become of the world’s best in the position.
Can you name any other players whose position change helped them?