Marco Silva has banned four first team players from training 2 years ago

Marco Silva has banned four first team players from training

The Bomb Squad has been assembled

There's nothing quite like senior football players being sent to train in the reserves with the youth team. Sometimes it can be quite funny, say when they have tried to demand a transfer and get immediately binned. Sometimes it can be confusing, say in the rare instance where the player doesn't appear to have done anything wrong.

Sometimes, sometimes it is just sad, and this is usually in the case of a past-it footballer being banished from the first team squad at an age when, really, he shouldn't be past-it at all.

It is in this last instance we find Kevin Mirallas, still only 30-years-old, who is now apparently surplus to the extent that he will join Ashley Williams (!) and Cuco Martina (!!!) in being purged by new manager Marco Silva.

Williams being moved isn't exactly a surprising one, his performances over the course over the last couple of seasons have fallen off a cliff so much they are now digging their way towards the earth's core.

Cuco Martina, meanwhile, has always been a middling full-back at his very best, so again it isn't a shock to see him cast aside from the core squad ahead of the upcoming season.

He did give us that absolute belter of a goal with the outside of the foot against Arsenal on Boxing Day a few years ago, so for that we must be grateful.

Vlasic is perhaps the shock inclusion on the four-man hitlist, a 20-year-old winger who Ronaldo Koeman signed for £10 million only last summer.

He has struggled to adapt to Premier League football and a loan move could well help his development at this stage, but it is still an interesting decision to remove him from first team activity altogether before a ball has been kicked in a competitive game.

Mirallas, for all his obvious quality, has reportedly had issues with his attitude and application with the team over the last couple of years and will evidently struggle to break into Marco Silva's plans, particularly after the signing of Brazilian half-season wonder Richarlison for £50 million from Watford.

Still, it is disappointing to see a player who was so effective just a few seasons ago now confined to playing with the reserves.

On the other hand, it looks like Ashley Williams is subsequently now on his way to Stoke after the Silva purge in what could well be the most Stoke City signing of all time.

Every cloud and all that. Unless you're a Stoke fan.