Ranked! 10 biggest Premier League flops in 2017/18
Which summer and January signings have been utterly dreadful this season?
10 - Kevin Wimmer
So much promise, so little product. Stoke City fans dreamed of a formidable partnership with Kurt Zouma when the Potters forked out £18 million for the Austrian's services. It quickly turned into a nightmare.
What to expect next: the former Spurs and Koln centre-back has been put on a personal fitness regime. He hasn’t started a game since January. His future probably lies away from the Bet 365 Stadium. It easy to see Wimmer leaving for a league like the Bundesliga or Ligue 1, where forgotten men of the Premier League often go on to flourish. Florian Thauvin--remember him?--has 22 goals and 11 assists for Marseille this season.
9 - Oliver Burke
Burke was supposed to bring youthful thrust and penetrating drive to West Brom’s attack. Signed from RB Leipzig for £15 million, there were questions as to why the German club had let go of such a promising talent. Baggies fans now have the answer.
What to expect next: the Scot will stay at the Hawthorns. Under the right guidance, he should rediscover the form that saw him move from Nottingham Forest to the Bundesliga in the first place.
8 - Joe Hart
How indignant were you when Pep Guardiola callously thrust England’s beloved No.1 aside in favour of Claudio Bravo? Come on, be honest. Like most other football matters, Guardiola was right. Who would’ve guessed?
Another season characterised by mistakes and a creepily intense stare in the tunnel pre-match.
What to expect next: No doubt some mediocre Premier League side will take another doomed punt on the ex-Manchester City man. Watford? Bournemouth? Crystal Palace? Take your pick. I'm going with the Hornets. Who else could follow Heurelho Gomes?
7 - Gylfi Sigurdsson
My heart goes out to you, Gylfi. You shouldn’t be labelled one of the flops of the season, but you have. It may not be your fault. Your enterprising nature is at polarising odds with Sam Allardyce’s painful hoof-ball. How could you justify your £50 million fee under those conditions?
What to expect next: Marco Silva, should he arrive, ought to set you back on track. Expect to thrive under the Portuguese’s tutelage.
6 - Roque Mesa
Bought in August, offloaded, albeit via loan, in January. A rather short story with a revealing point: Mesa was not quick enough, tactically or physically, for the Premier League.
Anointed to sit upon to Joe Allen’s bejewelled-yet-vacated throne, Mesa did not live up to expectations at the Liberty.
What to expect next: the Spaniard will almost certainly be sold. There is about as much chance of him surviving the rigours of the Championship with Swansea as there is that Big Sam will admit he’s not the world greatest manager.
5 - Tiémoué Bakayoko
A horribly expensive mistake: letting midfield general Nemanja Matic leave Stamford Bridge to be replaced [not] with the former Monaco starlet. This time, the tired cliché about Frenchmen in war holds up.
What to expect next: Bakayoko is not the hopelessly lost little boy he has so earnestly sought to depict. He is still a good player. Like Sigurdsson at Goodison Park, a fresh impetus from the side-lines should coax the best from him.
4 - Alvaro Morata
Do you think the Spaniard is a Chumbawumba fan? “I get knocked down, but I get up again (gingerly)” would be a fitting soundtrack for his first season in the Premier League. The number of times the Spaniard has been outmuscled and outfought beggars belief. He’s spent more time nursing bruises on the pitch than celebrating goals.
What to expect: A swap deal with Gonzalo Higuaín has been mooted. Max Allegri is purportedly keen on bringing Morata back to Turin. Higuaín would certainly pose more of a physical presence up front and go some way to filling that Diego Costa-sized hole. Maybe that text wasn’t so wise after all, Antonio?
3 - Davy Klaassen
At £24 million, it was folly to sign Klaassen when Gylfi Sigurdsson and Wayne Rooney’s arrival was inevitable. That just about sums up the stinking mess Everton fans have had to breathe in this season.
What the expect: a mere seven appearances in the league suggests Klaassen has no future at Goodison Park, although Marco Silva's anticipated arrival could revitalise his Blues career.
2 - Alexis Sanchez
Oh, Alexis. Just two Premier League goals since you upped sticks and moved Atom and Humber to Manchester in January. Let’s not even delve into your salary. It will just depress everyone else.
What to expect next: marginally better performances, but you'll still be shackled by Jose Mourinho’s conservative approach. At least the dogs have a nice big garden to run around in, hey? Too bad their freedom will be a crushing reminder of your lack thereof.
1 - Renato Sanches
One moment will define Sanches’ time at Swansea City: calmly collecting the ball, he sways his hips, pivots to the left and moves forward, then caresses a pass out wide. Trouble is, no-one is there. The poor fellow seemed to confuse the glaring red of the Carabao bull on the advertising board with the garish colour of his side's away strip. A lack of maturity, corrosive under-confidence, and an infuriating nonchalance contrived to damn Sanches’ time at the Liberty Stadium to failure.
What to expect next: probably a move back to Benfica. Bayern Munich are about as optimistic about his chances of making it at the Allianz Arena as 49% of the UK are about having a Brexit that does not radically and irreparably destroy and ruin everything. Sorry. Too far?