Published On: Sun, May 13th, 2018

Most disappointing player from every Premier League team this season

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The awards have been handed out and the rave reviews have been printed – but what about the most disappointing players to trundle out in the Premier League this season? theScore rounds up the the biggest letdowns from each team in 2017-18.

Arsenal

Shkodran Mustafi: Narrowly beating last year’s choice Granit Xhaka as Arsenal‘s most disappointing player is Mustafi. The centre-back was solid at times, but his concentration and positional sense were found wanting in big matches. Transfer fees have bloated over the past 24 months, but £35 million to sign him from Valencia still seems exorbitant.

Bournemouth


Jermain Defoe: The veteran striker was able to rejoin Bournemouth for nothing due to a clause written into his Sunderland contract, but his pay packet on the south coast is believed to have eclipsed each of those taken home by his Cherries teammates. So, Defoe‘s four Premier League goals were a derisory return, and should be worrying considering he has another two years left on his paperwork.

Brighton & Hove Albion

Anthony Knockaert: Last season’s Championship Player of the Year wasn’t able to influence top-flight games in the same manner. But at 26, there’s still hope Knockaert can re-emerge as one of Brighton‘s main men, and it feels cruel to pick a disappointing player from Chris Hughton’s ranks after such an impressive season.

Burnley

Jonathan Walters: Injuries and the form of other players in Sean Dyche’s lineup resulted in an ineffectual term for Walters in Burnley. He may get a second chance, though, as the Clarets need to bulk up the numbers for their first European campaign in 51 years.

Chelsea


Danny Drinkwater: The Manchester United academy graduate started only five league matches after joining from Leicester City for £35 million last August. His arrival was beset by niggling injuries, but when he was fit, he couldn’t even shuffle ahead of Tiemoue Bakayoko in Antonio Conte’s attentions. The 28-year-old may seek a swift exit from Stamford Bridge.

Crystal Palace

Christian Benteke: It was a nice touch when Luka Milivojevic handed Benteke a pity penalty in Crystal Palace‘s evisceration of a short-handed Leicester in April, but it also showed how desperately low the Belgian’s confidence was. The explosive qualities of Benteke’s game have been extinguished, and he finished with just three league goals to show for nine months of work.

Everton

Davy Klaassen: “If I had the opportunity to play him I would, but I haven’t because I’ve got to win,” Sam Allardyce said of Klaassen in April. That was hardly a ringing endorsement for a €27-million summer signing who mustered no goals or assists throughout the campaign.

Huddersfield Town


Collin Quaner: Costing around €500,000, Quaner was probably worth a punt when he was snapped up from Union Berlin in January 2017, but he simply isn’t Premier League quality. He edges Rajiv van La Parra on this list as a winger who can’t cross or shoot – with the exception of November’s wonder goal against West Bromwich Albion, of course.

Leicester City

Wes Morgan: How can Leicester’s Premier League-winning captain be met with so much criticism from a portion of the club’s fan base? The truth is, Morgan‘s legs aren’t cut out for another year in the top flight, and he looked a little lost without Robert Huth by his side.

Liverpool

Adam Lallana: It wasn’t easy to choose Liverpool‘s most disappointing player, and it feels quite harsh to pick someone who suffered such a serious injury setback. However, after making his long-awaited return in November, Lallana looked way off the pace, and his days in Jurgen Klopp’s squad could be numbered if there’s little evidence of improvement during pre-season training.

Manchester City


Danilo: Danilo showed flashes of inspiration – his thunderbolt against Burnley, and his intelligent run and composed finish past Brighton’s Mathew Ryan last Wednesday stood out – but he was otherwise jostled out of the XI due to Kyle Walker‘s form, or by Fabian Delph or Oleksandr Zinchenko offering better options at left-back.

Manchester United

Ander Herrera: It’s not his fault. The combative Spaniard was Manchester United’s Player of the Year in the previous term, but made just 13 Premier League starts in 2017-18 as Jose Mourinho struggled to find the right formula. In the end, Herrera‘s selection regularly saw an upturn in Paul Pogba‘s productivity.

Newcastle United

Javier Manquillo: Beating out Joselu – because everyone expected him to be really bad – is Manquillo. But to be completely frank, many also expected a listless term from the full-back, given he spent the previous season with Sunderland. His removal from the starting XI shortly after the new year was followed by improved results from Newcastle.

Southampton


Wesley Hoedt: Hoedt can improve, but the eventual heir to Virgil van Dijk‘s backline mantle needs to address his poor positional sense. He was outshone by Maya Yoshida this season, and many fans would prefer Bury youth-team product Dale Stephens over the £15-million Dutch defender.

Stoke City

Kevin Wimmer: The boardroom is irritated by the £18 million that Mark Hughes insisted Stoke City pay for Wimmer, according to The Telegraph’s John Percy, and could accept less than half that amount to broker his sale this summer. He didn’t start a match after January’s embarrassing FA Cup exit to fourth-tier Coventry City.

Swansea City

Renato Sanches: Brokering a loan deal for Sanches was widely regarded as a masterstroke, but what trotted out for Swansea was a once-promising youngster starved of minutes and robbed of confidence. It will take an incredible coach to repair a player who looked a surefire bet for stardom just 22 months ago.

Tottenham Hotspur


Danny Rose: For Rose, the issues are both on and off the pitch. His infamous rant at the start of the season – revealing his desire to move back to his native north England and criticising Tottenham for signing “players you have to Google” – unsurprisingly saw him fall out of favour with the club’s support, and Rose followed that with performances that left him a clear second best behind Ben Davies.

Watford

Andre Gray: You can understand why Gray was signed. The injection of pace should’ve been an ideal complement to burly Troy Deeney in attack while simultaneously weakening a Premier League rival in Burnley. Instead, a striker who cost around £18.5 million mustered just five top-flight goals. Maybe it’s time to return to the Championship.

West Bromwich Albion

Grzegorz Krychowiak: Like Sanches at Swansea, Krychowiak appeared to be a smart piece of business when he was loaned from Paris Saint-Germain. “I’ve supported him and played him and stuck by him when he’s not been particularly great,” then-West Brom boss Alan Pardew said in March. Obviously the out-of-work manager can empathise with that shabbiness.

West Ham United


Winston Reid: West Ham‘s defence was calamitous, and it was no better when the previously uncompromising Reid was fit. David Moyes probably deserves credit for keeping this awkward mish-mash of players in the division, but there’s a lot of work to do in the summer.



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