The Premier League is chockablock of some of the finest talents in world football...but there are also a whole host of benchwarmers, has-beens, never-weres and outcasts who have long been forgotten amid all the excitement.

Here are 12 ghosts of your Fantasy Football teams past who you probably had no idea are still (technically) in the Premier League in the Lord's year 2019. 

Prepare to play a game of bingo with yourself with the following phrases: 
Is he still playing?
Did he not retire?
Didn't we sell him years ago?

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Danny Ward



Leicester City paid £12.5m to sign Danny Ward from Liverpool in July 2018, and he is yet to even make a Premier League appearance for the Foxes. How's that for smart business?

Ward played in five cup games last season, but has been permanently glued to the bench in the league, with Kasper Schmeichel dominating the starting lineup.

In fact, Ward hasn't actually seen a minute of Premier League action since he let in three goals in Liverpool's defeat to Swansea City in January 2016. Since then, his career has been... uneventful. 

Ah, the life of a reserve goalkeeper.

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Maarten Stekelenburg


Speaking of backup shot stoppers, don't forget about Everton's Maarten Stekelenburg. Since a leg injury in December 2016, it's all been downhill for the Dutchman.

Stekelenburg lost his place to Jordan Pickford in 2017, and that's pretty much the last thing that happened to him. Whether he's on the bench or left at home, he simply cannot get a game these days.

The 36-year-old was recently demoted to the Toffees' third-choice goalkeeper behind summer arrival Jonas Lossl, so the future looks even bleaker than before.

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Winston Reid


All jokes aside, the fact that Winston Reid features on this list is hugely unfortunate. Back in March 2018, Reid picked up a serious knee injury and was also knocked unconscious during West Ham United's 4-1 loss to Swansea, and he has been fighting to recover ever since.

Reid finally made his way back to action ahead of the 2018/19 campaign, but ended up aggravating the injury in pre-season. He underwent more surgery on his knee and was forced to miss the entire season.

He actually did make another return in this summer's pre-season, but the Hammers are yet to reintroduce him to Premier League action.

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Richard Stearman


Before Wolverhampton Wanderers were best friends with super agent Jorge Mendes, they were actually a struggling Premier League side, and defender Richard Stearman knows all about that.

The centre-back was an integral part of the side who were relegated to the Championship in 2012, but he is actually back in the top flight with Sheffield United this season.

He has only made the matchday squad once, so he's not back back, but he's definitely kicking around somewhere.

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Ben Gibson


In 2017, centre-back Ben Gibson was tipped by many to become an integral part of England's future after impressing with Middlesbrough. In 2019, most wouldn't know Ben Gibson if he cut the queue in front of them at Tesco wearing a shirt that said 'Gibson 14' on the back.

Burnley paid a club-record £15m to sign Gibson, but things turned sour almost immediately. He struggled to impress in their ill-fated Europa League qualification campaign last summer, and has made just one Premier League appearance since.

That one outing came in a 5-1 defeat to Everton, so the 26-year-old was quickly moved back to the bench. Since then, nothing.

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Jairo Riedewald


Signed as a promising Dutch star by then-manager Frank de Boer in 2017, Riedewald's Crystal Palace career prospects pretty much went up in smoke as the Netherlands legend was sacked after just four games in charge.

He has not played a minute of Premier League football in the last two seasons but has somehow not been moved on.

Now 22, the three-cap Netherlands international gets the odd cup cameo under Roy Hodgson and nothing more.

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Jack Colback


Stuck in Newcastle purgatory is midfielder Jack Colback. It was decided in 2017 that Colback had no future at St James Park, but he remains on the books there after Nottingham Forest declined to make his loan with them permanent during the summer.

Now 29, Colback is light years away from the starting lineup under Bruce, but failed to seal a move away from the club ahead of the current campaign. He remains in the squad, but the chances of him playing appear slim to none.

He has been tipped to leave the club in January, so his stay in the top flight could soon be coming to an end.

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John Ruddy


Wolves goalkeeper John Ruddy featured when we did this list in 2018, but he has just spent another year almost completely out of the limelight, so he probably deserves another place this time around.

Despite being vital to the club's promotion back to the Premier League, Ruddy was quickly ousted by Rui Patricio and was forced to settle for cup appearances last season.

The 32-year-old was only handed one appearance in this summer's Europa League qualification campaign, so it certainly doesn't seem like Patricio's position will come under threat any time soon.

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Sam Byram


Sam Byram dropped out of the Premier League last summer to join Forest, but was handed a lifeline by newly promoted Norwich City. However, only the most eagle-eyed of fans will have spotted that.

Brought in as backup to the exciting Max Aarons at right-back, Byram has seen just one minute of action so far. Apart from that solitary cameo, the 25-year-old has been left on the bench.

Things haven't really gone to plan for Byram since leaving Leeds United and, unless Daniel Farke magically loses faith in Aarons, it doesn't look like his career will be turning around this year.

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Patrick Roberts


If we're talking about Englishmen who are yet to fulfil their potential, we can't forget about Patrick Roberts. Since making the expensive jump from Fulham to Manchester City in 2015, Roberts has bounced around loan clubs without ever making much of an impact.

His latest attempt to prove himself has seen him join Norwich alongside Byram, but he is yet to add to the three cameo appearances in the Premier League he picked up between 2014 and 2015.

He hasn't even made Norwich's matchday squad on a number of occasions this season, but there's still time (maybe) for the 22-year-old to turn things around. 

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Sebastian Prodl


Once a regular feature of Watford's first team, even winning the club's 2016/17 player of the season award, the 32-year-old now gets little attention at Vicarage Road and made just two outings in 2018/19.

The bulky Austrian will hope for a fresh start under returning manager Quique Sanchez Flores after Javi Gracia's sacking