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As the curtain falls on a dramatic Premier League season, plenty made themselves heroes but others completely underwhelmed. Here’s the eleven players with whom we’re not angry…we’re just very disappointed.
Goalkeeper: Asmir Begovic (Bournemouth)
When Begovic arrived at Bournemouth two years ago he looked the safest of signings. However its been a season to forget for Begovic who made as many errors contributing directly to goals as he managed clean sheets, with 5 of each from 22 games. Things got so bad that Eddie Howe dumped Begovic for 39 year old Artur Boruc and then teenager Mark Travers. Presumably Jack Butland is waiting for a call from Howe.
Rightback: Kieran Trippier (Tottenham)
The ‘Burnley Becks’ had a stellar World Cup with England, capped by a majestic strike in the semi final. However he’s always been better going forward than in defence, and this season his form went into reverse after getting burned by Manchester City in October, as Premier League sides look to exploit his defensive vulnerability. Even going forward he’s not been at his best, blazing over a penalty in Spurs FA Cup exit to Crystal Palace and providing just 3 assists. Rumours of a summer departure are rife whilst Gareth Southgate has ditched him from the England squad.
Leftback: Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City)
Even the best can have a let down! Mendy arrived in Manchester two summers ago for £45million. However the former Monaco man has suffered a wretched time with injuries making just 14 appearances this season in all competition. When he’s been there he’s looked impressive going forward, notching 5 assists but remains untried in defence. With Oleksandr Zinchenko impressing and rumours of a new arrival at left back it seems Pep Guardiola is considering writing off Mendy as an expensive mistake.
Defender: Alfie Mawson (Fulham)
Little over a year ago Mawson was on cusp of an England cap, now he’s suffered back to back relegations after a £19million summer move to Fulham. Injuries haven’t helped with Mawson spending the start of the season on the treatment table. By the time of Mawson’s debut in September, Fulham were already leaking goals and the young defender could do little to stem the tide. In all Mawson has managed just 13 appearances all season and now needs to rebuild his reputation in the Championship.
Defender: Terence Kongolo (Huddersfield)
It seems unfair to pick on one Huddersfield player given how collectively bad they’ve been. However Kongolo signed a permanent contract with The Terriers last summer after an impressive loan spell, was supposed to push the team on to the next level. But the left sided defender has been emblematic of a backline that has looked out of its depth this season, after playing 32 games. Indeed 2 of Huddersfield’s 5 clean sheets came when Kongolo was left out, his season lows include an own goal, one error leading directly to a goal and punching Cenk Tosun in the face.
Midfield: Fred (Manchester United)
Unquestionably the worst summer signing in the Premier League was Manchester United’s £52million man Fred. It sums up Fred’s season that Manchester United’s midfield display often depended solely on if Paul Pogba was in a good mood, Fred was anonymous on the pitch and was left out entirely for more than half United’s games. Having reminded United fans of Kleberson and Eric Djemba-Djemaba it seems the Brazilian will be off this summer as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer attempts to start afresh.
Midfield: Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)
One of the greatest talents of his generation has become the great enigma. Ozil’s languid style just isn’t a fit with Unai Emery’s high tempo style of play, with the German playing just 22 Premier League appearances and contributing just 2 assists this term having notched 50 in the preceding five seasons. Ozil’s £300,000 a week wages have become a millstone around his club’s neck, Arsenal need to find a buyer this summer if Emery’s rebuild is to accelerate this summer in North London.
Midfield Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea)
Arriving as a sweetener in the Thibaut Courtois transfer, Kovacic was part of the marvellous Croatian midfield that made it to the World Cup Final. However playing alongside Modric and Rakitic could make Tom Cleverley look world class and Kovacic has coasted almost unnoticed through his year at Chelsea. He made 32 Premier League appearances almost all coming on or off for Ross Barkley at around the 60 minute mark, contributing 2 assists and no goals. Transfer ban or not it seems unlikely Kovacic will be returning to Stamford Bridge.
Forward: Marko Arnautovic (West Ham)
A true season of two halves, Arnautovic appeared to pick up where he left off last season with 7 goals up until early January. Then came those rumours he fancied a money spinning move to China and he dropped down the pecking order. West Ham made the odd decision to announce Arnautovic was staying on the night they were bundled out of the FA Cup by Wimbledon, but Arnautovic couldn’t recapture his form, struggled with injury and didn’t score again until May. It’s anyones guess which Arnautovic turns up for preseason or if he can regain the form that made him such a hit at the London Stadium.
Forward: Alexis Sanchez (Manchester United)
Manchester United have made a lot of mistakes since 2013, but none have proved more costly than signing Sanchez on a reported £500,000 a week. Sanchez has never looked like recapturing his Arsenal form, scoring just 1 Premier League goal all season. Sanchez ineptitude on the pitch is only part of the problem, his colossal wages have become a yardstick for the clubs contract negotiations with key players. United desperately need to offload the Chilean this summer, but with 2 years left on his expensive contract that’s only likely to happen if United bite the bullet by paying a chunk of his future earnings.
Centre Forward: Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester)
It wasn’t too long ago Iheanacho was seen as Manchester City’s future, but the misfiring forward has suffered a torrid season at Leicester. In all Iheanacho made 30 Premier League appearances and mustered just one goal. One of his few starts came as part of Leicester’s FA Cup side that fell to defeat at League Two Newport County. He could still have salvaged his season at the death when against his old club he was handed a presentable chance to deny City the League title, but in keeping with his season he fluffed his lines and his future with Leicester looks bleak.
Substitutes: David De Gea (Manchester United), Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal), Nemanja Matic (Manchester United), Max Meyer (Crystal Palace), Ryan Sessegnon (Fulham), Alireza Jahanbakhsh (Brighton), Gonzalo Higuain (Chelsea)
Featured Image Credit: Getty