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Five Stars Who've Fallen From Grace This Season

With Real Madrid's Isco having to contend with being a benchwarmer this season, here are five other high-profile players who have suffered similar fates of late, including two Premier League stars and one of Cristiano Ronaldo's teammates. 
 
Click through the gallery above to see five stars who've endured a fall from grace this season, according to Marca.
 
Mesut Ozil
 
Arsenal's highest-paid player Mesut Ozil has suffered since the arrival of coach Unai Emery at Emirates Stadium in May 2018. The 2014 FIFA World Cup winner has featured in only 14 of Arsenal's games across all competitions this campaign, primarily in the UEFA Europa League. With Ozil increasingly falling out of favour, reports of the 30-year-old having a bad attitude have emerged, with the club's board said to be unhappy with the star player, who is reportedly poised to put an end to his stay with Arsenal. The former Real Madrid playmaker's situation hit an all-time low when he was left out of the squad that lost 1-0 to BATE Borisov in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday night.
 
Riyad Mahrez
 
Manchester City made Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez the club's most expensive signing in their history when they snapped him up from Leicester City in July 2018 in a deal worth a staggering £60 million (R1 billion). The dribbling wizard made a promising start to life at the Etihad and was named in the starting XI on two occasions in his first five league appearances for City, but subsequently fell down the pecking order, featuring primarily in cup games under Pep Guardiola. Since missing a crucial 85th minute penalty in a goalless draw against Liverpool in October 2018, the former African Footballer of the Year has only managed to complete a full 90-minute game four times. Mahrez has registered a total of 34 appearances in all competitions so far this season, scoring nine goals while also being on hand to assist a further 10 strikes.
 
Paulo Dybala 
 
Argentine maestro Paulo Dybala has had to endure one of his most frustrating spells in a Juventus jersey, having been forced to compromise for the arrival of superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. After notching career-best figures of 22 goals in 33 Serie A games last season, the 25-year-old has primarily been used off the bench by coach Massimiliano Allegri in the current campaign, registering 28 appearances and finding the back of the net on seven occasions while assisting a further six strikes. Dybala seemingly vented his frustration during Juventus' 3-3 draw with Parma two weeks ago, when he marched straight to the dressing room after Allegri made his final substitution. According to the club, the former Palermo star apologised for the incident, and despite rumours being circulated regarding his future, Juve's CEO has dismissed speculation linking Dybala with an exit from the Italian giants.
 
Adrien Rabiot
 
Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot has not played a single minute of football for the Ligue 1 giants since completing 90 minutes in the club's 1-1 draw with Strasbourg in December 2018. The 23-year-old, who reportedly had the chance to sign for FC Barcelona, is said to have been banned from the first-team dressing room and has been forced to train with the reserves after refusing to sign a contract extension with the club in January. Rabiot, who infamously snubbed the France national team when they put him on their standby list for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, is expected to leave the club on a free deal upon the expiration of his contract in June.
 
James Rodriguez
 
Bayern Munich midfielder James Rodriguez, who is on loan at the Bavarian giants from LaLiga giants Real Madrid, has arguably endured the biggest fall from the grace of players on this list since setting the scene alight at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The former FC Porto man penned a two-year loan deal with Bayern in July 2017, with the option to sign for the Bundesliga giants permanently for €42 million (R666 million). Despite his recent resurgence – he provided the assist for two goals in his past two league matches for Bayern – the former AS Monaco star seems likely to leave Munich upon the expiration of his loan deal.
 
 
It remains to be seen where James' future lies, but there have been reports of interest from Premier League sides Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.
 
Of the abovementioned players, who is your favourite and why? Let us know in the comments section below.

 

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