This season a number of big money signings were made by Premier League clubs. With big money comes big expectation from fans, as well as the need for players to produce the goods immediately. The Premier League is now seven games into the season, and there have been some signings who have not given the performance that their fans would have expected.
Ricky Van Wolfswinkel
Ricky Van Wolfswinkel arrived as Norwich’s record signing for just over £8.5 million in the summer. The striker scored twenty-one goals in all competitions for Sporting Lisbon last season, and was supposed to continue that goal scoring form in the Premier League. Van Wolfswinkel has only missed thirty-one minutes of game time for the Canaries this season and has only managed one goal. Van Wolfswinkel has had a shot accuracy of 33% and has scored none of his clear-cut chances. He has managed only one assist, which has possibly deterred Chris Houghton from deploying him in the hole like he alluded to early in the summer. With the signing of Johan Elmander, and Gary Hooper returning to fitness, Van Wolfswinkel will need to drastically improve his performance in order to stay in the side.
Roberto Soldado became Tottenham’s record signings this summer albeit for a short period. Much was expected of the Spanish international forward, with many Spurs fans hoping he would add the clinical edge that they had been missing up front. Soldado’s season started well with the forward netting two in two games albeit from the penalty spot. Since then Soldado has failed to score, not managing a single goal in the month of September. He has had a shot accuracy of 55% and has scored two of his four clear cut chances, but the two he has scored were penalties which means he has missed all clear cut chances from open play. Soldado was dropped in favour of Jermain Defoe last weekend, but with Spurs beaten 3-0, Soldado’s all round play may get him back into Andre Villas-Boas starting line-up.
Whilst he hasn’t had much game time for Chelsea this season, Willian has not impressed as much as a £30 million player should. Competition for places at Chelsea is huge, especially in the attacking midfield positions. Amazingly, Willian has only made one appearance in the Premier League, which was off the bench during last weekend’s game against Norwich. By all accounts Willian showcased some of his talent scoring a fantastic third in Chelsea’s win. Despite this, for such a price tag Willian has not shown enough of this quality in all his other appearances for Chelsea. Eventually Willian could turn out to be a fantastic signing for Chelsea, but he will have to show more of the class that he showed at the weekend to cement himself in the Chelsea side.
Some may say the inclusion of Fellaini is unfair. The midfielder has only played three games for Manchester United, starting only once in the league. This start happened to be United’s 4-1 trouncing at Manchester City, and some fans believe Fellaini has not added anything to Manchester United’s squad. The Red Devils paid £27.5 million for the Belgian’s services on transfer deadline day in what many felt was an inevitable deal due to his past relationship with David Moyes. In his time at United, Fellaini has only won 31% of his ground 50-50 duels. For a player who was supposed to add some steel to United’s midfield, this will have to improve if Fellaini is going to make an impact at United. There is still a lot of time for Fellaini to prove himself at Manchester United and under David Moyes he will be given every chance to do so. The expectations of United fans are historically high so Fellaini will have to put in some sterling performances to get them on side.
The Spanish winger was signed from Sevilla for a fee of £14.9 million. The speedy winger was known for his dazzling dribbles and wing play that created many chances for fellow City new boy Alvaro Negredo. While Negredo has had a decent start to his City career, Navas has struggled to make a strong impact. Navas has started four of his six Premier League appearances for Manchester City and has only provided one assist. The winger has had a pass completion of 76.85% and only embarked on one dribble. The most important aspect of Navas game is his crossing, and the Spainard has had a crossing accuracy of 35% which may be his only positive point (this number is usually accepted as a good range for a winger). Navas was expected to bring more creativity to City’s midfield by providing a more direct wide option. With Manuel Pelligrini keeping faith in the winger, Navas will need to create more chances for his teammates.