The world of sports has plenty of good teams that are usually contenders for a trophy or a championship. The Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and San Francisco Giants are some of the teams that have impressed in recent years. But the leagues would be a lot different if it wasn’t for a few teams selling their best players every year. Every sport has a team that’s not a contender but has had success signing and drafting players that are later traded or lost in free agency. Here are seven teams that would probably be great if they kept their players:
Shakhtar Donetsk has actually done well in recent years, despite selling some of its best players to teams such as Chelsea, Manchester City and a few others. The football club has made Champions League appearances in recent years without much success but their story would probably be a little better if they kept their stars. In the last five years, Shakhtar Donetsk has sold players such as Willian, Alex Teixeira and Fernandinho. That’s three good midfielders who would have made Shakhtar Donetsk a stronger team.
Oklahoma City Thunder
The Oklahoma City Thunder actually had a decent NBA regular season with Russell Westbrook setting a new triple double record. The team also advanced to the playoffs, where they lost in the first round to the Houston Rockets in five games. Westbrook was the main reason they reached the playoffs but just a few years ago, the Thunder was a strong contender for the NBA Championship. The team actually reached the NBA Finals in 2012 but five years later, only Westbrook remains with the Thunder. Harden was the first to leave after a trade with the Houston Rockets. Ibaka and Durant later left the team, leaving the Thunder with just one star player. The Thunder losing all these players in just a few years is still something that amazes many sports fans and analysts. The team does have Westbrook but they’ll need more players if they want to compete against the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs.
Porto is currently second in their league with just one loss in 32 games but the football club could be doing a lot more if they kept their players. A few years ago, the team had Falcao, Joao Moutinho, Hulk and James Rodriguez. The three did win trophies there but image if they were still on the roster. Porto has also sold Mangala and a few other players in recent years that would have made them even better.
The Miami Marlins have had some success since debuting in the MLB in 1993. The baseball team has won two World Series in its only two playoff appearances in 1997 and 2003. But the team has also had its bad moments, leaving fans completely shocked and disappointed. One of those moments came during the 2012-2013 season, when they completed a massive trade. Baseball teams make trades often but this one was controversial as it moved most of the stars they had signed earlier that season. The team was playing at a new stadium and the big signings that year were a good start. But that quickly changed and the trade is now remembered as one of the biggest fire sales in sports history. In 2007, the Marlins also traded Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to the Detroit Tigers. The trade was also a bad move for the Marlins as Cabrera would go on to win the American League MVP in 2012 and 2013.
David Villa, Paco Alcacer, David Silva, Andre Gomes, Jordi Alba and Juan Mata are some of the players that Valencia has sold in recent years. Most of these players are currently starting on their teams and have done well throughout the years. David Silva has been an important part of Manchester City for years while David Villa has had an amazing career. Alcacer and Gomes recently joined Barcelona and could be the future. Alba, who signed with Barcelona in 2012, has also had a good career, winning a number of trophies with the team.
In 2015, reports mentioned that Southampton had sold over $175 million worth of talent in a year. The football club has sold many players since getting back into the Premier League and while they have had some big wins, they could be doing a lot better. A Champions League spot or league title would probably be difficult even if they kept their players but the team would at least be a strong contender for the other two competitions. Sadio Mane is one of the latest stars to leave the football club, joining Liverpool last year in a deal worth nearly $40 million.
Schalke 04 are currently in 10th place in the Bundesliga but they would probably be higher with the star goalkeeper and midfielders they have recently sold. Manuel Neuer, who left Schalke 04 in 2011, has been one of the best goalkeepers in recent years. Midfielders Leroy Sane and Julian Draxler have also moved to other footballs clubs. These three players, who once impressed while playing for Schalke 04, could have made the team at least a contender for a Champions League spot.