The worst EPL signings of the season – Pick your team (Willian anyone?)

 

I will carry on these type of lists especially during the summer. It’s not my style to write that I saw a transfer targets at the training ground so I will leave that to others lol

Now here is my Team of the Worst Signings of The Season…

I know lots of you will pick Werner.

It’s not that he skipped my mind. It’s more that while he hasn’t scored enough, his work rate and energy still offers something to the Chelsea team.

 

GK- Aaron Ramsdale-18.5 million

Relegation doesn’t change the high reputation the 23-year-old has garnered. His transfer did though play a part in the turmoil behind the scenes at Bramall Lane.

Sheffield United’s owner has said that he arranged loan deals for both the keeper as well as Brewster.

His manager was adamant that they be signed permanently, and has been accused of threatening to leave if he didn’t get his way. So the Blades reportedly ended up forking out over 40 million for two players they could have had for a year without any fee. Based on them ending up bottom of the table, I think it’s fair to say they regret that business?

I will stress, we await Chris Wilder’s response to these allegations from his ex-employers.

 

LB- Tsmikas – 11.5 million

Not that he hasn’t done much wrong … he hasn’t done anything. He was meant to a signing who could give Robinson a rest, but Instead due to Covid and a knee injury has only made three starts.

He has been fit since January but where Klopp has trusted others to be square pegs in round holes, not Tsmikas. That suggests the defender is not showing in training what he needs to do.

 

CB- Ake- 41 million

Not his fault he’s had injuries, but even when fit he has not been close to changing his status has 4th choice centreback.

Has only just played enough to qualify for a title medal. Even then, most starts have been in the period where the Championship was won, and Pep wanted to rest his talents for the Champions League.

10 Prem starts and 2 in the Champions League is a lot to be paying that much money for. It leaves City with the long-held accusation that they are simply stock piling youngsters to stop rivals from having them.

It’s been a waste of the Dutchman’s year, especially with the Euros in the summer.

 

CB- Ivanovic – Free

Takes a lot for me to pick a player who didn’t actually cost a transfer fee. To be fair there are a lack of options at CB to pick from. Doing some research though I found out that the Serbia is West Brom’s biggest earner and demanded huge agents fees.

This year will hardly affect his status as a Prem legend and it’s clear he was looking for a final pay day. Not that you can blame him as it takes two to agree a transfer.

At 36 years old and having been released, surely the Baggies scouting department must have checked if he still had the pace for top level football?

With the high press and defenders having to be comfortable in possession, it’s not a shock that Ivanovic found the League a lot different to then when he was at Chelsea.

Given his ability in the air, I assumed he would be perfect for Big Sam.

If Big Sam doesn’t think he can use you in defence, then you know your legs have gone

 

Matt Doherty RB -14.5 million

Given the amount of assists at Wolves Doherty seemed a bargain. The biggest issue for the Irishman is where his ex-team relied on their attacking full backs because they played with a back three, at Spurs he’s been asked to play in a flat 4.

Given Jose Mourinho was in charge at time you wonder if this was a club signing and not picked by the coach.

Jose’s one of a few who doesn’t want his right back bombing forward and often rotated him with Aurier. That situation hasn’t changed under Ryan Mason either. There is every chance that the new manager will like Doherty, but at the moment he must regret the move.

 

Van De Beek -CM- 35 million

If you listen to Ole, he talks about the midfielder being developed for the future but listening to the player that’s not what he was told when he negotiated to join.

Van De Beek played 175 times for Ajax and built his reputation off his performances in getting to the Champions League Semi Final. So this is not a rookie.

Holland are worried, with the Euros in the summer, that one of their young stars has had a year of sitting on the bench.

Many foreigners needed a year to settle before playing well (and the plan always has been for him to replace Pogba) but the worry is he’s too lightweight for English Football and the Premier League simply too physical.

 

Thomas Partey- DM – 45 million

Never got injured for Atletico Madrid in years yet he came to North London and is yet to truly get a run of games.

The reason I’m not going to use injuries as an excuse though is there seems a deeper issue with his fitness. Once matches get past the 70 mins spell, he seems shattered both physically and mentally. Maybe he’s carrying a knock that needs proper surgery on or he just needs a proper pre-season?

I have no doubt we will see the best out of him ,but so far he hasn’t justified his arrival being met with his own music video.

 

Thiago -CM- 26 Million

Klopp’s success in the last couple of years was to have a hard-working midfield which allowed his full backs to be his main attacking options.

So the one thing missing in his puzzle was that player who could pick a pass. Thiago should have been that player.

Liverpool fans will tell you that Henderson and Fabinho dropping back into defence upset the balance in the middle, but I would have expected a surreal winner from Bayern Munich to take the initiative.

He’s been better recently but would you though pay nearly 30 million for a player to show up after you are out of all competitions?

 

LM – Bale- Loan

I told myself I wasn’t going to include loans because without a transfer fee how bad can the financial damage be if the player was a flop?

Bale is the exception to the rule. With the loan fee and wages combined it’s reported to have cost Spurs nearly 20 million to have the Welsh superstar back at the Lane.

9 goals and 2 assists in 18 League games isn’t bad on paper but context is key. 4 of those goals and the 2 assists have come under Ryan Mason. Which mean either he wasn’t trying for Jose or he’s simply pulling his finger out now to earn another year on loan?

Many wondered was he or Zidane to blame for how it’s turned out at Real Madrid. Bale has only added to the perception that while he loves football, it’s not everything to him. That’s sad

When you go back to the summer when fans waited outside to welcome his return, if you said you would get to Cup Final and Bale wouldn’t be starting, they wouldn’t believe you

 

Willian- RM

Normally I wouldn’t include a free transfer because even it doesn’t work out it hasn’t cost the club millions. This though is principle.

At the time Arsenal were trying to work out how to get out of the Ozil pickle. Essentially, they regretted paying a player such a huge salary when he had zero re sale value. Instead of learning from this lesson we offered a 31-year-old a reported 200,000 pounds a week on a 3-year deal.

While some gooners will argue that wage is incentivised (so he won’t be getting that amount) the fact is we are paying a lot of money for a player to give us 1 goal and 5 assists.

It would be wrong to question his professionalism as there is nothing in his career to suggest he’s that type of character. Maybe it’s what happens when you come from a winners dressing room into a younger one.

Arteta clearly thought with his CV, Willian could be a leader but instead he went missing

 

Ryan Brewster – 23.5 million Striker

As already mentioned, Sheffield United could have taken the striker on loan at which point this summer, they could have sent him back to Liverpool. Instead they paid nearly 24 million for a player who still is yet to score for the Blades!

Some will defend him by saying at a team bottom of the table you’re not going to get great service or many chances per a game. 0 goals is 25 games though?

On loan at Swansea last season he got double figures so there’s no reason he can’t do the business for the Blades in the Championship. The fear is that a youngster who always had a high reputation will be scarred this year.

 

If you want to give me your 11 or have any names, put in comments and will give our overall team next Tuesday

 

Be Kind In The Comments

Dan

Tags Partey Willian

18 Comments

  1. gotanidea says:

    Great article! I’d like to add Alex Telles from Man United

    1. Stanley Collins Essuman-Mensah says:

      factually Willian
      has 7 assists and not five.Secondly you much do factual analysis of his overall performance.Aside his work rate,( running back to help defence)providing check no of times he loses or gives balls away to opponents. In the West Brom 3-1 match,the stats show he created 12 scoring chances.Also check number of Arsenal goals he has been directly involved in.Finally you should NEVER have lost sight of the fact that he started the season with an injury but was rushed and constantly picked to start matches in spite of that critical fact.
      Finally Arsenal was in their WORST TIMES, defensively, in midfield and even the forwards were not firing- they were so disjointed, inconsistent and lacking in confidence and morale and so you should NOT have had so much expectation from him.
      .Again it is an IRREFUTABLE fact that initially he was assigned/ used in different roles with a new and ineffective system of playing the ball from the back. Do NOT forget you’ve even added Thomas Partey in your list of flops. This just buttresses the fact that he couldn’t have done any better, SIMPLICITER!!

  2. Yossarian says:

    I think including Partey is a bit harsh. He does seem to have had an underlying fitness issue that needs to be dealt with properly before next season. Also he has needed time to adjust to the English League and hasn’t had a somebody to establish a quality partnership with, but those things should follow soon.

    Willian certainly seems fair game to be included in this list, although I heard on a football TV programme that he actually has the most assists for Arsenal this season, which was a surprise.

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      I doubt with proper tactics any player will need adjustment to the new league as it is usually claimed . If that is true it should be a few months at most. Last season Pepe was said to be adjusting. It seems he is still adjusting two seasons later.

      Willian hasn’t had a good season and he didn’t need any adjustment. A lot of players has hit the ground running and even scored in their debuts. Nasri and Aubameyang come to mind. Wasn’t Zola named player of the season even though he played only half of it?

    2. John Ibrahim says:

      Willian Top Assist for Arsenal and is a flop??

      Partey is in his first season hes injury prone this season but he played well most of the time….

  3. Declan says:

    Just two comments from me:
    Agree, Partey has been a disappointing flop.
    Disagree, Bale, I would have taken him in a heartbeat.

  4. ThirdManJW says:

    In relation to games played, performances and cost, probably Brewster or Ake as the worst signings, although Ake has been injured to be fair.

    The most surprising flop has to be Doherty. Spurs got arguably the league’s best RB, at such a low price, yet he’s been awful! I really wanted us to sign him, so I was very jealous of Spurs, but maybe we somehow dodged a bullet?

  5. Sid says:

    Great article. Agreed with your list. I was thinking of Havertz and Fabio Silva but I think they are better this season than the ones you picked.

    1. Dan says:

      Peeps don’t just say
      ‘ not ……’
      Need names to replace him with

  6. Blaz says:

    I disagree with Partey. He had to play in the midfield all by himself. He would be a beast in the midfield with a better partner instead of Xhaka, Elneny and Ceballos.

  7. Vinnie2000 says:

    Nice pick from you until you added Thomas Partey and Gareth Bale!!
    Both are still world-class. Just being unlucky due to injuries and playing in struggling teams!!
    Flops of d season are Willian, Thiago Alcantara, Kai Havertz and even Timo Werner!!
    Big name signings who haven’t anything of note to justify d big fees n hype around Dem!!
    Anthony Martial of Man utd also flopped too!!

    1. Dan says:

      Didn’t say they were not world class
      Said they had bad seasons

  8. Sean Williams says:

    Actually you missed the worst signing by a mile. You are miles off. The worst signing in Arsenal history, even worse than the signings of Sanogo, or Kim Källström, is MIKEL ARTETA as manager.

    1. ThirdManJW says:

      Worse than Rioch?

      1. Marty says:

        Or Billy Wright ( for the older supporters on here )….

    2. Vinnie2000 says:

      Lolsss…😄
      Sean Williams, d man who so ‘loves’ our dear Mikel Arteta!!
      Hahaha..

  9. durand says:

    The only bad signings I care about are the ones made by Arsenal. In my humble opinion it has to be Willian hands down.

    The expectations, production, and wages compared to what he delivered on the pitch shows what a massive failure this transfer was. Even in terms of effort he was pathetic, not to mention how Nelson missed opportunities due to Willian’s deadwood antics.

    Not only should this cause the club to re-evaluate their stance on recruiting over 30 players, but call into question the evaluation processes of Arteta and Edu.

    Willian wasn’t the first, Ceballos and his 2nd turn with the club was a disaster, keeping Nketiah around all year, and loaning out players; especially leaving us short at backup LB.

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