The English Premier League features some of the best players in the football world giving incredible performances week after week and making this league the best on earth. Every year more and more talented players land in this league trying to become relevant and take their teams to play for important things.
As much as we like to see players thriving in the Premier, some of them struggle a lot to find a good shape and play the best way sometimes, even though they already had very good times in prior seasons or teams. Albeit we’ve seen players like Sadio Mane or Eden Hazard being great, we’ve also seen footballers that were expected to do big things and winded up being a complete flop.
Here are our top 10 most disappointing Premier League players this campaign. Players who were great in the past and this season were hoping to take it all but failed at it.
Honorable Mention: Mateo Kovacic
10. Shkodran Mustafi
Arsenal’s center-back was a good one in prior years, becoming a very important agent within the Gunners’ ranks. Last season his level wasn’t the most desired and that set on the alarms at Emirates Stadium; although he started this season trying to bounce back, Mustafi has been unable to do so and now even Gunners fans are asking for his exit of the club.
Shkodran proved what he was able to do every single season with the North Londoners and if they decide to get rid of the German defender, many teams will try to acquire him. For now, Mustafi is struggling to find his best version with Arsenal and his tenure in the club seems to be coming to its end.
9. Kelechi Iheanacho
This Nigerian forward was seen as one of the best youngsters in English football a couple of seasons ago and that was reinforced after the good moments Iheanacho had with Manchester City, tallying 14 goals in just 11 games during the 2015/16 seasons with the Citizens, making his way out of the team in order to have more playing time.
He landed in Leicester and everything looked good for the Nigerian, but so far he hasn’t shown what people expected to see from him since his days at Etihad Stadium. He barely started seven games last season and even though this one he was a starter in 29 encounters, Iheanacho has scored only one goal with the Foxes, being relegated to the bench by Brendan Rodgers.
8. Kieran Trippier
After Kyle Walker left Tottenham for Manchester City a couple of seasons ago, Kieran Trippier took the reins of the team’s right back and actually did a pretty good job, getting the call to represent his country last World Cup.
Nevertheless, since last summer Trippier hasn’t been the one, losing the touch on both ends of the field. His crosses aren’t the same they used to be, he often goes to attack and left his team unprotected and even when he’s defending, rivals tend to surpass Trippier, damaging Tottenham through that way.
7. Marcos Alonso
Marcos Alonso was a big surprise when he made his debut with Chelsea a pair of seasons now, being regarded as one of the most efficient and reliable players in his position, but now that is in the past and Alonso is getting a lot of criticism from both Chelsea and rivals supporters.
He hasn’t had the same spark he used to have in prior terms; Marcos looks like he forgot how to play good and lost all the confidence Chelsea’ had on him. To be fair, Chelsea’s season hasn’t been the best one, but now seeing how bad Alonso has played so far, you can tell why.
6. Jordan Pickford
Pickford case is very alike Trippier’s; they both had marvelous seasons in the last one or two years and everybody talked about them as the future of their country. Pickford, just like Trippier, had the best summer of his life last year when he helped the English national team to reach the FIFA World Cup semis.
All of that is water under the bridge and contrary to what most people would believe, Pickford has struggled a lot this season, making mistakes that weren’t welcomed by Everton and England fans. His country dreamed of having a great goalkeeper again and Pickford looked like the perfect candidate to be it, but this season tells otherwise on how good Jordan can be.
5. Naby Keita
This talented midfielder landed in Liverpool as a very promising player who was ready to take his new team and league by storm. Sadly for Keita and his team, that hasn’t been exactly the case and he has mightily struggled to find a good shape like the one he had back in RB Leipzig.
Liverpool hoped to have in Keita a player who boosts the level of the squad, turning the team into one of the best in England and overseas. Naby hasn’t been consistent with his game and not even having scored the fastest Premier League goal for Liverpool will make people change their mind that says he needs to step up his level.
Brazilian midfielder Fred landed in Manchester expected to be a very good reinforcement, but none of that has happened so far, and Manchester’s fans are getting tired of Fred and his bad performances. He hasn’t been that guy who can turn things around every time he gets on the pitch, instead, he has played a very mediocre football.
Man. Utd. disbursed £53 million for Fred, who doesn’t look any better than Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira, players developed in the Red Devils’ academy. Perhaps the team’s directives and managers will wait for Fred to improve his game next season when he will be used to the league and its pace.
3. Yerry Mina
Yerry Mina didn’t have a good time in Barcelona after being purchased from Palmeiras as one of the best defenders in South American football. Unfortunately, the Colombian center-back didn’t count with many chances in Catalonia and when Everton showed up to acquire his services, the expectations around him went through the roof.
Albeit he wasn’t landing in a top-six club, Mina was expected to help Everton to improve its level and fight for important things like European competitions. It‘s mandatory to say that Mina hasn’t counted with many chances to display his game this season, but it’s not like he’s done good whenever he had the chance. He has struggled to find his best version and adapt to the Premier League.
Perhaps next season things will get better for Yerry, but this one he’s been of the biggest fiascos in the league.
2. Henrikh Mkhitaryan
It’s interesting to see that the first and two picks in this list were involved in one of the most famous swaps we’ve seen in recent years. When Arsenal received Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Manchester United in exchange of Chilean Alexis Sanchez, every Arsenal fans was excited for it, thinking they have won the trade.
Well, that’s quite complicated to answer as neither player has really thrived in their new teams, gaining more criticism than other things. The difference here might be that Mkhitaryan had a better beginning in Arsenal, but that has vanished now when people have started to ask his head.
1. Alexis Sanchez
As we stated before, the only reason to think Arsenal won the Sanchez-Mkhitarian might be that the latter had better beginnings than the Chilean. Alexis was at some point one of the best two or three players in Premier League, turning plenty of heads to him; ultimately, it was Manchester United that could get him in the aforementioned trade, but Sanchez has been living a nightmare since he left London.
Firstly, Jose Mourinho didn’t know how to put him in the starting IX and often made Alexis play in positions he wasn’t used to playing in just to justify his salary, the best in the league right now, even if that meant ruining the team’s performance. Now with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the boss, Alexis doesn’t count with many opportunities to shine and rumors about his departure from Old Trafford have seen the light.
Sanchez was considered one of the best players in his position at some point during his tenure with Arsenal, but now he’s just a regular player from the bunch, 30, and unlikely to recover his best version. He records only a single Premier League goal this season, something unforgivable for a player of his level and who earns the money Alexis earns.