Five Premier League players who have underperformed this season.
We’re nearing the end of the 2020/21 Premier League campaign which has been unique and fantastic, that has seen Manchester City restore their position as England’s most exceptional with title success.
This season can prove a horribly long time in football and this record of players have seen their prosperity suffer a sharp downturn through the current campaign.
Here are Five Premier League players who have underperformed this season.
Many were doubting the wisdom in Chelsea letting Willian to leave on a free transfer last season, the winger having been amongst the Blues’ more exceptional players over the second half of the 2019/20 campaign and had enjoyed the best goalscoring league season of his seven-year term at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea had declined to hand the 31-year-old the three-year deal he was asking and the west Londoners’ loss was seen as Arsenal’s gain when they caught the Brazilian as a free agent.
Willian was tipped to be a clever gift for a transitional Gunners side seeking experience and creative character, but after glowing on debut at Fulham he has sunk into the background for much of the season.
Willian has scored just a single league goal – in the win over West Brom this month – and has grappled for regular opportunities over the second half of the campaign, starting just two of the club’s past nine league games with the development of Emile Smith Rowe and the winter window loan of Martin Odegaard presenting impediments in his path to first-team football.
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Timo Werner’s season may end in silverware success with the Blues into the finals of both the FA Cup and Champions League, but it has been a trial campaign for the forward since his £47.5m switch from Bundesliga’s RB Leipzig.
Werner was heavily connected with a move to Liverpool last season and came close to moving to Merseyside before going to Stamford Bridge, his signing viewed as an upset for the big-spending Blues with the star’s fame having thrived in the Bundesliga.
Werner departed the Red Bull Arena as Leipzig’s all-time best scorer and on the back of scoring 34 goals in all competitions last term, but his fertile record has deserted him as he has been unable to replicate his Bundesliga form to the Premier League.
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Liverpool’s frustrating title defence implies a large number of the Reds’ options could have earned inclusion here, Jurgen Klopp’s side suffering a fight just to achieve Champions League football after last season’s record-breaking installation as champions.
Whilst the club’s defensive injury pressure and consequently patched-up back four have drawn most of the headings this season, Liverpool’s legendary front three has failed to fire as required this season.
Mohamed Salah has maintained his remarkable consistency and is the joint-leading scorer in the Premier League this season, but supporting players Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane have dropped below expectations.
Mane was arguably Liverpool’s most important player for much of last season, being named as the PFA Fans’ Player of the Year and scoring several important goals on the club’s way to title success.
After scoring 20+ goals in each of the past three campaigns, Mane has 14 for the season so far in all competitions with just nine in the Premier League – his lowest total since joining Liverpool in 2016.
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Anthony Martial has just never been quite able of achieving his potential, his Manchester United career having varied between strong shows and displays of frustrating paradox.
Stuck between a wide role and center-forward position, he was finally handed his opportunity as a number nine last season and flourished as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s main man, scoring 23 goals in all matches to be named as the Red Devils’ Players Player of the Season.
His season began badly with a red card in a 6-1 defeat to Tottenham, whilst spells out through sickness and injury have offered him to just 17 league starts and only four goals.
Martial has played over nine hours more football than the seasoned Uruguayan this summer and claims less than half of his overall goal score, expectations of him becoming the center-forward to lead this side to silverware ever fanciful at best.
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Manchester City’s victorious season means Raheem Sterling’s drop-in performances has gone under the radar a little more than some of the other names on this list, but the winger has seen his rank slip at the Etihad of late.
Once arguably the first name on the team sheet – Kevin De Bruyne aside – and one of City’s most important players, Sterling has strived this term and has found himself on the fringes in recent weeks.
Phil Foden’s continued skyward trajectory and Riyad Mahrez’s fine individual season has seen the England international slip down the pecking order, with Sterling having featured for a total of just eight minutes across Manchester City’s four fixtures in the Champions League’s quarter-finals and semi-finals.
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Five Premier League players who have underperformed this season