Premier League clubs spent £870m this summer, which is an eye-watering amount considering we still struggle to compete in the European competitions. The new television deal means that the money spent on a yearly basis will continue to rise and it will become the norm for £1bn to be splashed out in one window. There are risks when it comes to transfers and that has been highlighted once again this summer as some of the new recruits have failed to impress so far. There is still time for the five players in this article to turn things around, but they have all got off to a poor start.
Florian Thauvin was chased by Newcastle United all summer and they finally landed him for £12m plus Remy Cabella going to Marseille on loan. He had opportunities to move to St James’ Park twice before, showing just how highly he was rated at the club, but he went to Lille and Marseille over the English club. This summer was different, which left the fans excited to finally see Thauvin in a Newcastle shirt. However, two months into his Newcastle career, he is already being linked with a move away.
He has failed to nail down a place in the starting eleven, due to poor performances. The Frenchman looks too lightweight for the league and he loses the ball too often which puts his own side in trouble. He hasn’t really threatened in the final third yet with no goals or assists to his name in the league. In the Capital One Cup, he impressed against Northampton, getting three assists and a goal, but he needs to start performing in the league or he will be following in Cabella’s footsteps back to Ligue 1.
Stoke thought they had made the signing of the summer when they managed to land Xherdan Shaqiri from Inter Milan, but he has so far flattered to deceive. He has started nine times for the club and has only one assist to his name. There have been flashes of brilliance, but a player of his ability should be standing out in the Stoke side and at the moment he isn’t. His attitude has caused him problems at every club he has been at and it is now becoming clear why Stoke faced little competition for his signature.
It would be harsh to say that Shaqiri has played badly, but with his reputation, he should be doing a lot more. Yohan Cabaye’s influence on Crystal Palace is how many expected Shaqiri to fit in at Stoke. However the Swiss international has looked average and he needs to start making a bigger contribution in the final third if he is ever to reignite his career.
The Brazilian arrived at Anfield on the back of two exceptional seasons with Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga, which is often seen as similar to the Premier League. Therefore, in theory, it should take players less time to adapt to the league. This is why Firmino is in this list ahead of Memphis Depay, who has arrived from the Eredivisie. He has played nine times in the league, and four of those were from the start. Firmino has just one assist so far and he has had little effect in the final third. However, I expect him to turn it around under Jurgen Klopp as the system will suit him better and the German knows more about Firmino from his time at Dortmund manager. He was one of the big signings made by Liverpool in the summer and they will be expecting a lot more in the coming months.
The decline of Radamel Falcao’s career since his knee injury has been staggering and he could arguably be included in the worst signings in Premier League history twice. He was brought into Chelsea as a back up, but he has looked under par this season once again. The Colombian managed to get a goal against Crystal Palace, which was a rare bright spot in his Chelsea career to date. I don’t think Chelsea should have signed him as they already had Loic Remy and there were better and younger options available in the summer. I expect this to be Falcao’s last season in England and it will be a period he won’t look back on fondly.
Aston Villa spent a lot this summer and they haven’t reaped the rewards from that as yet. Jordan Veretout came in with a huge reputation in France, with many expecting him to develop into a French international in the future. However, he has looked poor so far at Villa Park, and he is struggling to get into the team. He has only played six times in the league and he has yet to make an impact. I expect him to improve given time, as French journalists said he could have a slow start after he signed for Villa. In Ligue 1, he looked like a very good midfielder, capable of creating chances and controlling games from deep. He hasn’t showed that for Aston Villa, but at the age of 22, he has time on his side.