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Dublin: 12°C Wednesday 21 October 2020
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Where did it all go wrong? 10 young players who never lived up to the hype

Overweight and clubless, Michael Johnson has become the latest footballer to fail to fulfill the potential he showed as a teenager.

Michael Johnson during his playing days and (right) last night. Credit: Press Association and Twitter

THE SHOCKING PICTURE of a portly Michael Johnson standing in a takeaway (above) which surfaced on Twitter last night has been swiftly followed by news this morning that the 24-year-old. who hasn't played since 2009, was released by Manchester City before Christmas.

After such a promising start to his career, a spate of injuries saw his progress hindered and in 2011 he joined Leceister City on a season-long loan which was terminated early. Reportedly showing a bad attitude to professional football, he was twice arrested for drink-driving last year which prompted the club to cut their losses and offer him a severance package.

It's an astonishing fall from grace for a player who made his senior debut at 18 and was tipped to establish himself as an England international.

Below, we look back at ten players who seemed destined for a career at the top - but never fulfilled their potential.

Where did it all go wrong? 10 young players who never lived up to the hype
1 / 10
  • Francis Jeffers

  • Nii Lamptey

  • Mark Kennedy

  • Graham Barrett

  • Freddy Adu

  • Neil Mellor

  • Liam Miller

  • Gianluigi Lentini

  • Jermaine Pennant

  • Kerlon

About the author:

Ben Blake

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